Choppy season ends with hard-fought losses to sectional rivals
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION – It was an elimination game on Saturday afternoon between Hampshire and Jefferson, as both teams lost to Washington earlier in the week during sectional play.
With the season hanging in the balance, Wes Landis took the mound for the Trojans and pitched a fantastic game going 7.1 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 10 batters.
With the game tied 1-1 after 7 innings, extra baseball was needed, but unfortunately for the Trojans, a fielding error in the 8th allowed Jefferson to score the winning run and advance to the sectional championship.
“I thought we battled the whole game,” said coach Chad VanMeter.
“Wes pitched a phenomenal game and kept us in it. We had our opportunities and we didn’t convert. But I can’t say enough about how hard the kids fought and battled. Hate to see the game end the way it did.”
Jefferson took an early lead 1-0 in the 2nd inning thanks to a Sam Wabnitz hit that drove in a run.
The Trojans were held scoreless until the 6th inning. The Landis twins got things going with a pair of hits off of pitcher Zach Rose as Grant Landis singled on a line drive to center field followed by Wes Landis smacking a hit to left field. Grant advanced to 3rd base off a wild pitch to give Hampshire runners at 1st and 3rd with 0 outs.
Senior Tra Bryson stepped up to the plate and laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Grant and tie the game 1-1.
With Wes Landis in scoring position at 2nd base and only 1 out on the board, the Trojans hoped to tally the go ahead run, but a pair of back-to-back strikeouts by Cougar pitcher Zach Rose ended the Hampshire threat.
The 2 teams battled back-and-forth until the 8th when Jefferson took advantage of a Hampshire throwing error to win the game.
“I told the boys after the game that these seniors have been put in a tough spot all season,” said coach VanMeter.
“They missed their junior season of baseball and this season was tough on them guys with the way that wrestling and basketball overlapped. I thought they fought hard.”
Looking back at the season, Hampshire only had a full roster available for a total of 3 games, so the fact that HHS gave their best when it mattered most in the face of adversity was an accomplishment to coach VanMeter.
“Im proud of these kids,” praised VanMeter.
Hampshire finished the season with a 9-14 overall record.
Although the Patriots were swept by the Trojans during the regular season, Washington was seeded ahead of Hampshire therefore they hosted the opening round of sectional play.
The Patriots smacked 13 hits en route to a 7-1 victory over Hampshire last Wednesday sending HHS to the brink of elimination in the double playoff format.
A plethora of blunders in the field by Hampshire (4 total errors) allowed Washington to score 3 runs in the 4th, 3 runs in the 5th and another run in the 6th to run away with victory. Collin Reed and Jimmy Williams led the way for Washington offensively with 3 hits each.
The Patriots beat Jefferson 4-2 on Friday night to earn a spot in the sectional championship as Jefferson and Hampshire squared off on Saturday for the right to stay alive. ο