Weaver leads Evansville charge
The Evansville High senior pitcher and slugger also made it a big day for his Blue Devils, who rode a 9-5 victory over Edgerton here Friday to a tie for the school’s third straight Rock Valley Conference baseball championship.
In depriving the Crimson Tide (10-5) of a chance to clinch a title tie and a shot at the outright North Division championship, Evansville (11-5) completed its conference season tying Jefferson for the top spot. Edgerton still can make it a three-way tie by winning a makeup game Tuesday at Walworth Big Foot.
But this was Evansville’s day to celebrate, and Weaver was a key player in making it happen. He not only had the hard-hitting Tide off balance with five masterful innings as the winning pitcher, but he drove in four runs, including a two-run homer in the first that put the Blue Devils in command for good at 3-0.
“Four games in a week was tough (on us), but you can’t take anything away from Evansville,” Edgerton coach Mike Gregory said. “They did some things that made us play bad, and they played well.
“Tip your hat to Jeremy Weaver. It was his game—that two-run homer in the first, and the pitching peformance he had was outstanding. Give him credit for a lot of what happened.’’
Evansville coach Brian Cashore was doing the same.
“Jeremy really came through for us today,” Cashore said of the tough right-hander. “You need that senior leadership, and he just stepped up and got it done. What can you?’’
Well, Weaver said he was delighted with the results, especially the championship, and happy to depend on his teammates for support.
“Of all the games I started (pitching) this year, that was the most innings, so it was good,” he said. “I just wanted to have them make contact and have our guys make the plays, and they did.’’
And the Crimson Tide couldn’t do much more than scratch for hits until Weaver reached his limit on the innings for the week and left the mound with his team leading 7-2.
Edgerton then jumped on left-handed reliever Brian Lunde for four hits that led to three runs in the sixth. Sophomore second baseman Collin Gregory sparked the Tide with a run-scoring double, and Tyler Oren followed with an RBI single.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Weaver then took over on the mound for Evansville and finished off the Tide. He yielded a sacrfice fly to Adam Gregory, which brought Edgerton within 7-5, but the Blue Devils put the game out of reach with two runs in the top of the seventh.
Lunde walked, stole second and reached third on an overthrow at second to start Evansville’s clinching rally. Danny Walczak followed with an RBI double, making it 8-5, and Casey Mosley singled home the final run.
“When we came back in the sixth and got within two, we gave ourselves a shot,” Gregiory said. “But then, to give up the two in the top of the seventh, that takes the fight out of you and takes away a lot of things you can do.’’
Still, it went back to the beginning. It started with Ryan Weaver’s hit that drove in Lunde, who led off the game with a single and gave Evansville an instant lead. Then came Jeremy’s Weaver’s two-run shot to left field, followed by his solid pitching.
“Jeremy’s the one who set the tone with the home run, and then his pitching,” Gregory said. “I think it was his location. He was hitting corners and not putting things down the middle of the plate, and he was ahead in the count. And when you pitch ahead, there’s a lot of things you can do.”
And so it was on Jeremy Weaver Day for the co-champion Blue Devils.
EVANSVILLE 9, EDGERTON 5
Evansville (ab-r-h-rbi)—Lunde, cf-p-cf, 4-2-1-0; Walczak, lf-cf-lf, 3-2-1-1; R. Weaver, 2b-p, 2-1-2-1; Mosley, ss, 4-2-2-2; J. Weaver, p-lf-3b, 3-2-2-4; Baumberger, dh, 2-0-0-0; S. Johnson, 1b, 0-0-0-0; Parker, c, 2-0-1-1; Harper, cr, 0-0-0-0; Crider, 3b-2b, 1-0-0-0; Hazlett, rf, 3-0-0-0. Totals: 24-9-9-9.
Edgerton (ab-r-h-rbi)—Oren, 3b, 4-1-2-1; A. Gregory, 2b-p, 3-0-1-2; K. Johnson, c, 3-0-1-0; Nelson, p-cf, 4-0-0-0; Kinnett, ss, 3-0-1-0; Andersopn, rf, 4-1-1-0; Richardson, 1b, 4-0-2-0; Hammer, lf, 3-2-0-0; Olstad, cf, 0-0-0-0; Schulte, p. 1-0-1-0; C. Gregory, 2b, 1-1-1-1. Totals: 30-5-10-5.
Evansville 302 020 2—9
Edgerton 100 103 0—5
E—Evansville 3, Edgerton 3. DP—Edgerton 1. LOB—Evansville 2, Edgerton 7. 2B—Walczak, Oren, K. Johnson, C. Gregory. HR—J. Weaver. SB—Parker, Walczak, Mosley 3, Kinnett, Lunde. SAC—R. Weaver SF—R. Weaver, J. Weaver.
IP H R ER BB SO
J. Weaver (W) 5 5 2 1 1 5
Lunde 1/3 4 3 3 0 0
R. Weaver 1 2/3 1 0 0 0 2
Nelson 1 3 3 3 1 0
Schulte (L) 3 1/3 4 4 3 1 1
A . Gregory 2 2/3 2 2 2 2 3