RIDGEWAY – Ridgeway starter Chris Thousand gave his team the lead with a go-ahead two-run home run in the fifth inning, and he made that lead stand by tossing four straight scoreless innings to guide the #2-seeded Cardinals over the #3-seeded Wiota Indians, 7-3, in a Home Talent League Western Section second-round playoff game on Sunday, Aug. 12.
The Indians (11-7 in SL, 15-12 overall) won the two regular season meetings against the Cardinals (13-5) with a pair of one-run decisions– coming out on top 4-3 in Wiota on May 28 and 3-2 in the rematch at Ridgeway on June 17– and Sunday’s game would prove to be another nail-biter with the Cards coming out on top when it mattered the most.
Wiota grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when outfielder Tommy Meier drove home courtesy runner Jake Meier for the game’s first run, but the Indians let many other scoring chances slip through their hands in the early going as they stranded seven runners on base through the first four innings, including five of those runners in scoring position.
“We had all kinds of chances and we didn’t come through,” said Wiota coach Dick Schliem. “I knew it would come back to haunt us and it did.”
Indeed it did as the hosts scored twice in the fourth frame to go ahead 2-1.
“In this type of game, you can’t let that happen,” Schliem stated.
Wiota regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning when pitcher Ryan Von Haden drove a Thousand offering out of the park for a two-run homer to put the Indians ahead 3-2, but Thousand came right back with a two-run shot of his own in the bottom of the fifth to put the Cardinals back on top for good.
The Cardinals plated three key insurance runs in the sixth inning to open up a 7-3 advantage, and Thousand made that lead stand by keeping Wiota off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Thousand scattered nine hits and struck out seven with two walks en route to the complete-game win, while Von Haden surrendered seven runs (four earned) over eight innings on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks in the loss.
Von Haden also led the way at the plate by going 3-for-3 with two RBI. Brad Schliem was 2-for-4 with a run, and Jayson Haldiman added a double for the Indians.
At Cross Plains, on Thursday, Aug. 9, Wiota’s HTL Night League playoff game against Cross Plains was postponed due to rain.
The Indians will travel to Cross Plains for a make-up second-round game on Thursday, Aug. 16, starting at 7:30 p.m. If that game should be rained out, the two teams will try again on Friday evening, also starting at 7:30 p.m.
Wiota……… 010 020 000 - 3 9 3
Ridgeway… 000 223 00x - 7 9 0
Leading Hitters: Ryan Von Haden 3x3, Brad Schliem 2x4. HR- Von Haden. 2B- Jayson Haldiman.
WP- Thousand. LP- Von Haden.