Vikings knock off Wootton in baseball quarters
May 19, 2010Walt Whitman High School
The eighth-seeded Whitman baseball team mustered a four-run, third-inning rally Tuesday and defeated host No. 1 Wootton, 6-3, in the Class 4A West Region quarterfinals.
The Vikings (12-7) rarely hit the ball out of the infield, but capitalized on every opportunity.
Tied 1-1 in the top of the third, the Vikings led off with back-to-back infield base hits. No. 9 hitter and first baseman Alex Rhea beat out a slow chopper up the middle and James Dionne reached on a bunt.
Three batters later, third baseman Paul Balland was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in Rhea.
Senior catcher Danny Lee extended the lead to 3-1 in the ensuing at-bat with an RBI single to right field. Starting pitcher Ross Olchyk then helped his own cause with what proved to be the game-winning hit, another RBI single to right.
"I think we really rattled [Patriots starting pitcher Alex Hindman] and got in his head in that third inning," Lee said. "They made a few mistakes and we rallied because everybody came through with a bunch hits and walks. Small ball proves you can still get job done without the big swingers. ... Wootton was 17-1 and all the pressure was on them and it showed."
Whtiman advances to Wednesday's 4A West Region semifinals, where it hosts Gaithersburg at 4 p.m.
The Vkings made the score 6-2 in the top of the fourth with an insurance run on a throwing error by Wootton (17-2) reserve shortstop Greg Albertini, filling in for the ejected Alex Kelly. Kelly was tossed earlier in the inning for arguing over a successful stolen base attempt by Dionne.
"All year we've needed teams to make mistakes to help us, and Wootton booted a ball or two today," Whitman manager Joe Cassidy said. "We planned to bunt and steal a lot to put pressure on their defense. Our guys also beat out a lot of slow rollers to help us."
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