Waldsmith, Turner edge top-ranked Jefferson
BELOIT--Whatever pressure comes with pitching against the No. 1-ranked team in the state, Hunter Waldsmith wasn’t feeling it Tuesday.
The Beloit Turner junior right-hander pitched a complete-game six-hitter to lead the fourth-ranked Trojans to a 2-1 Rock Valley Conference crossover win over Jefferson, the top-ranked team in Division 2.
Waldsmith struck out seven and Turner took advantage of three Jefferson errors to improve to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the Rock Valley South.
“Hunter’s demeanor is what makes him so special,” Turner coach Jeff Clowes said of his starter. “He obviously has the tools, physically, to make him a great pitcher, but mentally is what sets him apart.
“He has a calmness about him that draws people to him as a teammate. And in big games you can tell he wants the baseball.”
Turner got on the board first thanks to a Jefferson throwing error. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Ethan Burns walked. He moved to third on Mitch Seager’s single and scored when Sam Behm struck out on a ball in the dirt but reached first when catcher Hunter Milbrath threw wildly to first.
Jefferson (7-1, 6-1 Rock Valley North) tied the game in the fifth. Chris Dekrey singled to start the inning, advanced to second on Brandon Laesch’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Nick Hauser’s RBI single.
The Trojans took the lead for good in the sixth thanks to two costly Jefferson errors.
With two outs, Josh Fell singled. Pinch-runner Evan Schultz advanced to third when Cam Anfang’s pickoff throw scooted by Dekrey at first and rolled to the fence.
Schultz then scored when Ryan Hughes’ routine pop-up fell in after shortstop Evan Anfang and second baseman Grant Johnson collided attempting to make the play.
Waldsmith showed he had plenty left in the tank as he struck out the side in order in the top of the seventh.
“The whole game I never really got tired because I was able to locate my fastball,” Waldsmith said. “And for the most part, I was able to throw my off-speed pitches for strikes, too.
“They’re a really good hitting team, and I left a couple of pitches up early that they got some good swings on. But I kept the ball down after that, and they hit a lot of ground balls.”
Cam Anfang was the tough-luck loser. He went the distance, striking out seven and allowing only four hits.
Tuesday’s meeting was the lone regular-season game between the two teams. They’re also in separate sectionals, so the lone rematch opportunity for the Trojans and Eagles would come the WIAA Division 2 state championship.
TURNER 2, JEFFERSON 1
Jefferson 000 010 0—1 6 3
Beloit Turner 001 001 x—2 4 1
C. Anfang and Milbrath; Waldsmith and Burns.
Leading hitters—Seager (T) 2x3. 2B—Seager (T).
SO—C. Anfang 7, Waldsmith 7. BB-C. Anfang 2.
Last updated: 11:28 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017