The Atchison Senior A’s bounced back in a big way on Sunday.
After being swept in their first two doubleheaders of the season, the A’s did a little broom work themselves, beating Corning 12-1 and 15-4 on Sunday. Atchison lost two games at Sabetha on Friday after getting swept at home against Doniphan County to open the season on Wednesday.
Walks and mistakes played a key role in the losses at Sabetha, but weren’t much of an issue on Sunday.
The A’s took early advantage of the wildness of Corning’s pitcher. Hunter Ostertag worked a leadoff walk, Austin Bonnel was hit by a pitch and Hunter Wahwahsuck also walked. After Ostertag scored on a wild pitch, Adam Smith drove in Bonnel and Wahwahsuck with a double.
A pair of ground outs brought in Smith. Kevin Scott was hit by a pitch and came around to score on Steve Cline’s single. Atchison plated five runs in the first inning.
Four more came around to score in the second. Bonnel walked, stole second and third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Wahwahsuck. Smith reached on an error, stole two bases and was brought home on a single by Marcus Denton, who later scored thanks to a pair of wild pitches.
Augie Scholz reached on another Corning error and was driven home by a single from Scott. The A’s led 9-0 after two innings of play.
“They were patient at the plate,” said Coach White.
Ostertag was strong on the mound for Atchison, pitching all four innings. He walked just one batter, and White was happy with his pitcher’s attitude on the mound.
“Just getting up there and throwing the ball,” he said. “Lately, we’ve had a lot of pitchers that were complaining about the umpire or things they can’t control. When you’re on the mound, you just have to get up there, block everything else out and just throw strikes.”
Corning wasn’t able to do any damage against Ostertag until the fourth inning. The A’s had pushed their lead to 12-0 in the bottom of the third with Bonnel, Wahwahsuck and Denton scoring runs.
Corning got a leadoff double in the fourth and scored on a single, but Ostertag didn’t allow the inning to slip away. The game ended due to run-rule when Ostertag got a strikeout and forced a ground out.
White was pleased his team found some success after enduring a tough start to the season.
“They know they’ve been struggling, so they’ve been working on some things personally,” White said. “It’s good to see them get it done and do a little work.”
The second game started out tighter than the first, but the A’s pulled away for another run-rule win to improve their record to 2-4 on the season.
Playing their sixth game in five days – with the added challenge of not having a couple players available – Atchison used a mishmash of pitchers in the second game against Corning. Denton got the start and gave up one run in the first inning, then battled his control in the second inning. Three runs came across in the second before Denton gave way to Wahwahsuck, who was able to strand three runners by picking up a strikeout for the third out.
The A’s responded to Corning’s early attack, though.
In the first inning, Bonnel was hit by a pitch and then stole second base. On an attempted steal of third, the catcher’s throw escaped the grasp of the third baseman, and Bonnel was able to trot home for a run. Wahwahsuck walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Denton and Atchison led 2-1 after one.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the second, the A’s recaptured the lead for good. Sercy Duncan and Cline singled and were advanced by a sacrifice bunt from Ostertag. Bonnel followed that up with a two-run double, and he scored on a wild pitch to push the A’s ahead 5-4.
Atchison’s big inning came in the third. After Augie Scholz pitched a scoreless frame in the top half, three errors and two walks helped the A’s score six times in the bottom half. Cline had a two-RBI single, and Wahwahsuck and Smith each drove in a run in the third.
Korrighan Liggett – a member of the Junior A’s – pitched the top of the fourth, allowing just a walk and no runs.
The run rule came into play in the bottom of the inning. Liggett walked, then Duncan singled and Cline drove Liggett in with a double. Ostertag was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Bonnel cleared the bases with a double, putting the A’s up by 11 and ending the game by the score of 15-4.
“We’re tired with some arms, so we wanted to use a couple different guys (on the mound),” White said. “We wanted to see what a couple guys could do, and we also brought up a Junior A to relieve some of our arms.”
The sweep was a welcome response after being swept twice to open the season. Still, White had his team do some conditioning after the games to get the point across that mistakes won’t be welcomed.
“We didn’t have a lot of errors today, but in the first four games, we had a lot of little mistakes and we were doing a lot of little things wrong,” he said. “If we cut out the little things, we should be better.”
Atchison’s next game will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 8 at Leavenworth.