OSKALOOSA – The Atchison Senior A’s made the needed plays in two tight games Wednesday night, sweeping Oskaloosa.
The A’s won Game 1 6-3 and Game 2 8-6.
Atchison got contributions from all parts of its lineup to win the opener of the doubleheader.
Trailing 1-0 after one inning, Adam Smith led off the second with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hunter Wahwahsuck. Logan Wahwahsuck sent a shot up the middle to score Smith and tie the game. With two outs, Kevin Scott sent another single up the middle that brought Wahwahsuck home and gave the A’s a 2-1 lead.
Hunter Ostertag extended the lead in the third, leading off the inning with a home run to right center. Marcus Denton helped give the A’s a 4-1 lead when he singled in Austin Bonnel later in the inning.
Atchison scored again in the top of the fifth as Smith doubled home Denton. Oskaloosa closed the gap in the bottom half, though, with a two-run home run off of Bonnel.
The A’s scored a final insurance run in the sixth. Augie Scholz drew a walk, Scott was hit by a pitch and Ayden Black reached on an error to load the bases. Ostertag’s single gave Atchison a 6-3 lead.
Bonnel went six innings for the A’s, allowing three runs and striking out nine batters. He found himself in a jam in the sixth inning as he tried to protect his team’s three-run lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bonnel went to a full count before striking out the Oskaloosa clean-up hitter.
Smith picked up a save, working a perfect seventh inning.
A lesson was learned in the bottom of the third inning. A pitch from Bonnel came up and in to the Oskaloosa batter, who ducked his head out of the way, but left the bat standing tall. The pitch hit the bat and floated in the air, giving Ostertag time to pounce from his catcher position and snag the ball for an easy out. The events showed why coaches instruct batters to lower their bat in that situation.
Like the first game, the A’s found themselves down early, but this time in a deeper hole.
Scholz pitched four innings for Atchison, giving up four runs. He struck out four batters.
Down 2-0 in the third, Scott walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bonnel. Oskaloosa answered, though, scoring two in the bottom half to take a 4-1 lead.
It could have been more, but with two outs and a runner on third, Scott chased down a ball in right center and caught it with a half-dive, half-jump and then held on as he crashed to the ground.
The momentum from the play carried over into the fourth inning. Hunter Wahwahsuck walked, Scholz singled and Scott walked again to load the bases with two outs. Ayden Black coaxed a walk to score Scholz, then the left fielder misplayed a ball by Ostertag. A single by Bonnel brought Ostertag home and the A’s scored five times to take a 6-4 lead.
After Scholz gave up a single to start the fifth inning, Smith came on in relief. He allowed one run in both the fifth and sixth innings, evening the score at 6-6.
In the seventh and final inning, Smith singled and advanced to third when Wahwahsuck reached on an error. Logan Wahwahsuck brought home Smith and reached on another Oskaloosa error. After Hunter Wahwahsuck was caught stealing third, back-to-back two-out walks to Scholz and Scott set the table for Black’s RBI single, which gave Atchison an 8-6 lead.
Smith had a near perfect bottom of the seventh, striking out two batters and getting the last out on a fly ball to left field.