A team with capable hitters throughout the batting order is a tough one to beat.
With Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader between the Atchison Junior A’s and Hiawatha tied 5-5 in the fourth inning, the A’s No. 10 hitter came through with a two-RBI single to push Atchison ahead. They went on to win 11-5, capping off a sweep after they had won Game 1 13-1.
After a four-run second inning, the visitors from Hiawatha held a 5-2 lead against the A’s. Atchison scratched one run across in the bottom of the second when Colby Weishaar walked, stole two bases and scored on an error.
Then, trailing 5-3 in the third, Tate Vowels reached on an error and scored on Abe Siebenmorgen’s single. Tate Smith lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Siebenmorgen, evening the score 5-5.
Siebenmorgen replaced Jack Kocour on the mound in the fourth and pitched a scoreless frame.
Three straight walks loaded the bases with one out for Cole Montgomery in the bottom of the fourth and, with two strikes against him, Montgomery singled to score Andrew Noll and Korrighan Liggett and put the A’s in front 7-5.
“We needed runs and the No. 10 hitter got the key hit,” said Chuck Trotter, head coach. “It was a good night.”
The A’s didn’t let up once they got the lead, either. Vowels drove in Weishaar, then Siebenmorgen drove in Montgomery and Vowels with a double. Ayden Black’s ground out brought Siebenmorgen home and the A’s suddenly held an 11-5 lead.
Siebenmorgen finished business in the fifth and final inning, striking out two batters – he had four strikeouts in two innings pitched – to close out the win.
Kocour pitched the first three innings for Atchison, giving up four earned runs.
“The game plan was to have Jack in there as long as he could go, then see from there,” Trotter said. “It worked out.”
The first game of the doubleheader wasn’t as dramatic as the second game. The teams each had a scoreless first inning, but the A’s dented the scoreboard in the second.
Black walked and scored on a double by Levi Navinskey. After a Kocour walk, Navinskey scored on a ground out by Parker Mispagel, and Kocour scored on a wild pitch to give Atchison a 3-0 lead.
The bulk of the damage came in the bottom of the third as the A’s scored 10 times.
Noah Cummins singled in Siebenmorgen, then scored when Black reached on an error by Hiawatha’s first baseman. Smith and Navinskey singled, then Kocour reached on another error. Weishaar reached base on a dropped third strike and Vowels ripped a double. Siebenmorgen and Cummins each singled in a run to cap off the inning.
Navinskey pitched all four innings for Atchison and gave up just one run, though he flirted with danger. Navinskey walked the leadoff batter in each of the first, second and third innings, but kept Hiawatha off the board.
Two singles, an error and walk finally pushed across a run in the fourth for Hiawatha, but the A’s won by run rule. Navinskey had five strikeouts and gave up one unearned run.
“Levi did really well,” Trotter said.
The A’s earned the sweep after being swept at home on Friday against St. Joseph, Missouri. With their record at 8-6, the A’s have eight more games before Zone play begins.
“I think we’ll be seeded pretty well if we keep doing what we’re doing,” Trotter said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Atchison will play at Holton on Wednesday, June 29. The A’s swept Holton at home earlier this season.
Atchison’s next home game will be a doubleheader at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 5 against Doniphan County. DC has handed the A’s three of their six losses on the season.