Defensive game turns into a walk-off for Falcons
By Jacob Heid
AMHERST – There were plenty of chances for Amherst and Bonduel to post more runs than what showed on the scoreboard on Apr. 10 at Amherst High School.
Both sides made timely defensive plays to keep the score close.
The Falcons made a splash in the bottom of the fourth inning, coming away with an eventual 2-1 victory over the Bears on a wild pitch that brought home the game-winning run in the seventh.
Senior Matt Glodowski led the offense by going three-for-four at the plate.
Marcus Kennedy went two-for-three on the day as well.
Senior Wyatt Blaskowski went the distance again for Amherst on the mound.
He gave up one unearned run on two hits and had eight strikeouts.
Bonduel threatened in both the first and second innings with a man on second, but Blaskowski pitched through it, collecting two strikeouts in the opening two frames.
Amherst didn’t make much noise on the base pads until the bottom of the second inning.
TJ Brandl got on base for the Falcons. Sophomore AJ O’Brien shot a double to left-center field, and Brandl got thrown out at home while trying to get the game’s first run.
Blaskowski settled in on the bump, and so did the defense behind him.
The Falcons got through the third inning quickly. Turning a line drive ball caught by O’Brien at second into a double-play to end the inning.
“Our defense came up strong, and I just laid it on the guys kind of thick saying, ‘I’m really proud of the way we played in big moments,’” Amherst coach Bill Held said after the win.
Amherst struck first in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and no outs.
Sophomore Noah Spoelstra connected on a pitch and hit a sacrifice fly to make in a 1-0 game, the lone Falcon RBI.
Everything went right for Amherst defensively in the middle of the game.
Blaskowski retired the Bears in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
The home half of the fifth was another opportunity for Amherst to extend the lead.
Runners on second and third with no outs, the Falcons couldn’t cross the plate.
Held talked about what he said to his team about execution as the season advances.
“We talked through that as a team too. But missed opportunities, that’s baseball. We hit the ball pretty well, and overall, I liked our approach at the plate,” Held explained. “With men on base, it was different. I want to make sure we start playing the way we’re supposed to under pressure.”
Bonduel went down swinging, loading the bases in the top of the seventh with no outs.
A ground ball rolled through the tough infield grass to third, and a throwing error to first allowed the Bears to score a run, tying the game at 1-1.
A mound visit by Held calmed Blaskowski down, and he rallied to strike out three batters to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Kennedy singled to lead off the seventh inning. He later advanced to third after a flyout to right field.
In the next at-bat, a Cade Johnson pitch found the dirt and got away from the catcher, and Kennedy raced home for the game-sealing run.