Huskies fall in quarterfinals
TRAVERSE CITY-The Atlanta baseball team had high hopes in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game against Maple City Glen Lake (28-7), but fell for only the third time all season, 8-3, against a tough pitcher and a rough fourth inning.
Pitcher Garrett Badgero started for Atlanta and struck out five hitters in the first three innings, but struggled with control in the fourth inning, walking two batters and hitting four. Reliever Josh Barrett came in for the final out, but the damage had been done.
“Garrett and Atlanta have all my respect. He’s a great hitter and they’re a tough team. They made us struggle throughout the game. I know he (Badgero) threw a lot in the regional game (on Saturday), so I feel like he might have been a bit wore out. If he had a full tank of gas, this game would have gone a lot differently,” Lakers coach Kris Herman said.
The Huskies (24-3) had jumped to a 2-0 lead in the third inning after facing two 1-2-3 innings against Lakers pitcher Thomas Waning. Waning struck out two hitters in the first two innings.
However, a balk by Waning against Brock Baum and a walk to Jay Webster put two men on base for Atlanta. A double by Caleb Cumper drove in Baum while a sacrifice fly by Badgero helped give Huskies their lead.
Badgero struck out three hitters in the third, but the four batters he hit in the next inning helped set up a Lakers’ rally that put the Huskies down 6-2.
The Huskies ran into trouble against Waning in the fifth inning as he struck out three batters in a situation when Atlanta needed to rally. Barrett answered back by striking out two and throwing out another batter at first.
Badgero slapped a single, got to second on a passed ball and was driven in by Jacob Dobbyn for Atlanta’s third and final run of the game in the top of the sixth inning.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, Waning struck out three batters in the inning to end any rally chances.
Barrett ran into trouble against the top of the Lakers order in the sixth inning by walking Tristan Williams, giving up a single to Waning and a two-RBI triple to Trevor Aspey that put the Lakers ahead 8-3.
Atlanta got a break when Austin Odziana hit what should have been an RBI double for the Lakers, but he forgot to hit first base on his way to second. Atlanta coach Sean Barrett told first baseman Larry Krzeninski to tag first while Odziana stayed glued to second. Krzeninski tagged first for the final out of the inning.
The Huskies seemed to have a solid rally started in the top of the seventh inning with a Barrett single and a Baum walk. Unfortunately, Webster hit into a double play to end the game.
“We ran into a really good team but we beat ourselves today. We had that one bad inning and it got into our heads and we just couldn’t recover. I still think we were the better D on the field today,” Sean Barrett said.
This game was the last high school game for four Atlanta players: Badgero, Cumper, Baum and Derek Reeves.
“We’re losing some good players but our core group will still be here. My infield guys are all coming back and (Jake) Chambers will be back. He’ll probably turn into my best player and pitcher for next year and we should be as good as ever,” Barrett said.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.