Janesville has three hits, four errors in defeat
That didn’t stop the Ohio Valley Regional champions from playing a hard, fast and gritty game, however, against unbeaten Glen Allen.
But with Glen Allen’s nine-hit attack and Janesville’s four errors, the result was a 5-2 victory for the host team in the final game of National Division pool play.
With the win, Glen Allen finished first in the division with a 4-0 record and earned a bye into Friday’s semifinals. Janesville finished 2-2 and plays Beaverton, Ore., the American Division’s third-place team, at noon (CDT) today in the single-elimination quarterfinals.
Today’s game times were moved up from the original schedule in an effort to avoid predicted rain in the Glen Allen area.
The Janesville-Beaverton winner goes against American Division champion Newton, Mass., in the semifinals at 9 a.m. Friday. Glen Allen plays Brazoswood, Texas, or Mims Park, Ala., in the 11:30 a.m. semifinal game. The championship game is at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Janesville gave its best shot against Glen Allen but came up short in getting only three hits.
“Glen Allen is one of the best teams out here,” Janesville coach Ron Kobs said. “When you have more errors than hits, you aren’t going to win many ball games.”
Coach Billy Walker knew his Glen Allen team would have a fight on its hands against Janesville, which had suffered only one previous loss at all levels of tournament play.
“There’s no question that is the best team we’ve faced in the tournament,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see them again on Friday.”
In this matchup, Glen Allen grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. Austin Slough drove in Trent Kessler with a single, and Matt Kennedy’s sacrifice fly scored Carter Walker.
Janesville cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of third. McCauley Cox was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a balk and scored on two wild pitches.
Glen Allen took control with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to go up 5-1. Slough’s second of three hits drove in both fourth-inning runs, and the fifth-inning run was unearned.
Janesville’s final run came in the bottom of the fifth, when it had a chance for much more. Cox led off with single and scored from third on Nick Blomgren’s two-out single, but the rally ended with the bases loaded.
Both pitchers came out firing on all cylinders. Blomgren threw 128 pitches in working a complete game for Janesville and struck out seven.
Glen Allen starter Eric Neiman had six strikeouts and 105 pitches in five innings to get the win. Brett Ayer allowed no base-runners in working the final two innings, and he struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh.
Blomgren was 1-for 3 with an RBI at the plate.
“My first at-bat wasn’t very good,” he said. “After that, I just tried to zone in on the pitcher.”
Glen Allen’s offense immediately took notice of Blomgren’s pitching style.
“The pitcher was throwing gas, and at first I had trouble, but I just adjusted,” said Slough, the Glen Allen first baseman and center fielder.
His teammate, Trent Kessler, agreed.
“I was way behind and had to adjust,” Kessler said.
The most disappointing thing for Janesville was not getting bye into the semifinals—something the whole team was shooting for against Glen Allen.
“We wanted that,” Kobs said. “If you get that day off, not only do you have a day off, but only have to play one game to get to the championship. Now, we have to play two games and don’t get that day.”
And that disappointment showed after the loss—something Cox addressed when looking ahead to Oregon.
“We gotta rub it off, come back out here and win tomorrow,” he said.
Kobs hopes his team follows what it has been told all season about getting past losses.
“It’s gonna be up to them,’’ he said. “We’ve told them that they have to get themselves fired up.
“Hopefully, they’ll go back to their host families tonight and forget about the game and come out here ready tomorrow. Hopefully, we can pull out a win,” he said.
GLEN ALLEN 5, JANESVILLE 2
Glen Allen (ab-r-h-rbi)—Kessler, rf, 5-2-2-0; Walker, c, 3-1-0-0; Slough, 1b-cf, 4-0-3-3; Kennedy, cf-lf. 2-0-1-1; Neiman, p-1b, 3-0-0-0; Harrington, ss, 4-1-2-0; Frick, lf, 3-0-0-0; Ayer, p, 1-0-0-0; Ransom, 3-0-0-0; Butler, 2b, 4-1-1-0. Totals: 32-5-9-4.
Janesville (ab-r-h-rbi)—Bowen, 3b, 4-0-0-0; Olin, cf, 3-0-0-0; Smithback, ph, 1-0-0-0; Blomgren, p, 3-0-1-1; Brandt, 1b, 1-0-0-0; Platts, lf, 2-0-0-0; Coulter, rf, 2-0-0-0; Welch, 2b, 0-0-0-0; Faust, ss, 3-0-1-0; Cox, 2b-rf, 2-2-1-0; Marro, c, 1-0-0-0; Gruenwald, pr, 0-0-0-0. Totals: 22-2-3-1.
Glen Allen 002 210 0—5
Janesville 001 010 0—2
E—Glen Allen 0, Janesville 4. LOB—Glen Allen 11, Janesville 6. SB—Kessler, Slough, Blomgren, SF—Kennedy. HBP—Kennedy, Cox.
IP H R ER BB SO
Neiman (W, 1-0) 5 3 2 2 6 6
Ayer (S, 1) 2 0 0 0 0 4
Blomgren (L, 1-1) 7 9 5 3 3 7