Surrending quick dozen doesn't daze Jeeps

By JOHN PATISHNOCK
Herald Sports Writer

DUBOIS — Well, that was interesting.

Jacob Gress

It’s not very often a team allows 12 runs in an inning and wins somewhat comfortably, but that’s what the Northeast Dubois baseball team accomplished Tuesday night in a 18-12 home victory against White River Valley.

“We made some mistakes and didn’t throw strikes like we needed to,” Northeast Dubois coach Brian Kirchoff said after a game in which the teams combined for 26 walks, six errors, two hit batsmen, a slew of wild pitches and passed balls and a handful of baserunning mistakes that resulted in outs.

Counting both teams, it was the highest scoring game for Northeast Dubois (2-1) since a 24-7 win against Washington Catholic in 2009.

At first, the Jeeps seemed on the verge of a rout — they led 6-0 after the third inning. Jace Terwiske registered an RBI groundout and Cameron Riecker smashed a two-run homer in the first before Joe Gress scored on an error and Kristopher Weisheit and Gage Knies recorded RBI singles in the third. They could have scored even more in the third but ran themselves out of the inning after White River Valley (0-1) committed an error.

Then, everything collapsed.

Despite collecting only four hits in the fourth inning, the Wolverines registered 12 runs, 10 of which came after two outs. Seven walks and two errors helped White River Valley extend the inning, which included a grand slam from senior Ethan Sparks.

Austin Kunz pitched the first two innings for the Jeeps, then re-entered in the fourth for Reid Haas. Kunz struck out his fifth batter to finally end the fourth, when the Wolverines came within one player of batting around twice.

“In that big inning, we kind of let things snowball there and we talked about that — we need to be able to stop that within the inning,” Kirchoff said. “After the inning was over, I thought we stayed calm, we didn’t panic. We didn’t try to do too much, nobody went up there and tried to hit a six-run home run. We just stuck with it and put the pressure on them and I thought our approach from the fourth inning on was pretty good.”

“We haven’t had an inning like that since I’ve ever seen,” Jacob Gress added. “We slowly tacked away, made the best of it.”

Riecker

Northeast Dubois scored three runs in the fourth and seven more in the fifth. Terwiske and Weisheit drove in runs in the fourth and the Jeeps also scored on an error before they completed the comeback an inning later.

Jacob Gress led off the fifth with a home run, saying he didn’t even realize he made that good of contact until after he rounded first base.

But the sequence made sense for a team that didn’t rush at the plate after falling behind.

“You try to pay attention when you’re warming up,” Gress said of his approach. “That way when a good pitch comes, you’re ready to hit.”

A batter after Gress, the Jeeps started a string in which six of seven batters scored. Joe Gress crossed the plate on a wild pitch, Chad Hoffman drew a bases-loaded walk, Knies followed with an RBI single, Bryce Huebner added a two-run single and Kunz finished the rally with an RBI single.

Northeast Dubois added two runs in the sixth, when Knies and Huebner each notched a run-scoring single.

Riecker (1-0) pitched the final three innings for Northeast Dubois, with Kirchoff saying the lanky junior may have earned himself more time on the mound with his performance. He struck out three while stranding four and also induced a ground-ball double play in the sixth.

Ideal, it wasn’t. Acceptable, sure.

“It’s a good win to have all that happen and then come back and play the last three innings like we did,” Kirchoff said. “I thought we played really well the last three innings.”

Contact John Patishnock at jpatishnock@dcherald.com.




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