After the late game on Thursday, Pittsburg Post 64 told his players one thing.
After the late game on Thursday, Pittsburg Post 64 told his players one thing:
“Let’s go get it tomorrow.”
That was about all that he could say after Pittsburg stranded 10 base runners and managed just one run in a 5-1 loss to Manhattan in the winner’s bracket of the Kansas AAA American Legion State baseball tournament at JayCee Ballpark.
It came one night removed from when Post 64 picked up 22 runs on 21 hits in a first-round win over Newton.
“I thought we hit the ball deep but give Manhattan credit, they played very good defense,” said Pittsburg head coach Mike Watt.
It might have been the 10 stranded base runners that was the most painful for Post 64.
That included leaving the bases loaded in the fourth with one out only to have the last two batters up strikeout and fly out to end the inning.
“They [Manhattan] made every play and we couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Watt said.
Manhattan jumped on Pittsburg early in the second inning when they got RBI hits from Ryan Wilkinson, Caesar Brown and Brandon Hoefler to go up 3-0.
Pittsburg starter Jesse Watt, who struggled with pitch placement early, had defense to bail Post 64 out of a couple of jams.
In the third, Manhattan loaded the bases with the first three batters but, a barehanded throw from third baseman Adam McCormick to put out Garrett Hess.
Then, Jesse Watt settled and struck out the last two batters to get out of the inning.
It was just three of the 12 base runners that Manhattan left on base.
“It is a concern but, everyone is fired up and they try to do too much at the plate,” said Manhattan head coach Luke Snyder.Jesse Watt got more defensive help in the fourth after giving up a pair of leadoff singles but Stu Jeck was able to tag out Brandon Hoefler on a pickoff play and, much like the third inning, Jesse Watt struck out the last two batters to get out of the jam.
“Jesse wasn’t as sharp as I have seen him but, he settled down,” “It happens but, he still gave us a chance to win.”
But, the Post 64 offense continued to struggle as they had runners in scoring position in the fourth and the sixth but failed to score.
Pittsburg did get their lone run of the game in the seventh after Jeck hit a one-out single, stole second and moved to third on an error by Manhattan catcher Caesar Brown.
A sacrifice fly by Kenny Wachter scored Jeck from third, making the game 3-1, Manhattan.
But, in the bottom half of the inning, Manhattan scored a pair of runs off reliever Nick Whetzell.
“There was little question in my mind that we needed to score more than three runs,” Snyder said. “I told the guys after the fourth inning that we had to score more runs to win.”
Now, Manhattan advances to face Lawrence in the winner’s bracket at 5 p.m. today in a game where Snyder said that “there is no love lost” between the two.
Pittsburg will face Hays in the consolation bracket at approximately 1 p.m.
Matthew Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140. Follow Morning Sun sports at twitter.com/mssports
Kansas AAA American Legion State baseball
at JayCee Ballpark
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Manhattan 5, Pittsburg 1
Pittsburg 000 000 100 — 1 8 0
Manhattan 030 000 20X — 5 8 2
Jesse Watt, Nick Whetzell (6) and Kenny Wachter. Mike McDiffitt, Alec Giambrone (8) and Caesar Brown, McDiffitt (8). WP — McDiffitt (1-0). LP — Watt (0-1). S — Giambrone (1). E — Giambrone, Brown. LOB — Pittsburg 10, Manhattan 12. 2B — Aaron Snow; Ryan Wilkinson. SB — Stu Jeck, Wachter. CS — Brandon Hoefler. SAC — Tanner Smith, Wachter.