Weimar's Rerich leads Tri-Counties to victory
WEIMAR - Ryan Rerich wasn't surprised to see the center fielder shaded toward right field when he came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the second inning.
"I haven't hit very well in this World Series," the Weimar graduate said. "I guess they had a scouting report because I hadn't hit one ball to the left side except a popup so they were shading me very far to the right. I was like all I have to do is pull the ball and it's in the gap."
Rerich hit a ball to the wall in center field to clear the bases and lead Tri-Counties to a 4-2 win over Port Angeles, Wash., in an elimination game of the Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series on Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Park Strickland Field.
Tri-Counties returns to Veterans Memorial Park to play Cape Cod, Mass., the top seed from the National pool in a semifinal game Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Tri-Counties had stranded runners on second and third in the first inning against Port Angeles starter Kyle Kelly.
But Tri-Counties loaded the bases with two outs on an infield single by Colby Mica and walks by Blake McCracken and Dylan Blaha.
Rerich was able to find a pitch he could drive.
"He threw me five straight fastballs," Rerich said. "I was expecting a curveball and when I saw the fifth straight fastball, I just swung straight up the middle."
Rerich scored Tri-Counties' final run on a throwing error on Justin Neiser's infield single, and starting pitcher Weston Wick made the lead stand up.
Wick, a La Grange graduate who will play at Blinn College, did not allow a hit until Kelly's opposite-field single in the fifth inning.
He struck out nine and was replaced by Weston Seay with two outs in the seventh after giving up a two-run home run by George Marinan and walking a batter.
"He's been pitching well," Rerich said of Wick. "We faced him during the season in high school. He's a good pitcher. He doesn't give up many runs."
Rerich started at second base for Weimar, but he was also a member of the Wildcats' Class 2A state championship golf team. He will play golf at Missouri Baptist in St. Louis in the upcoming season.
But he'd like to end his baseball career with a World Series title.
"This is my last hurrah," Rerich said. "It's over for me after this."
NOTES• Modesto, Calif., took a 3-2 win over Mid-Counties Texas in the other elimination game. Modesto will play Onondaga, N.Y., the American pool champion, in a semifinal game Friday at 5:30 p.m. Modesto, Calif., took a 3-2 win over Mid-Counties Texas in the other elimination game. Modesto will play Onondaga, N.Y., the American pool champion, in a semifinal game Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Tri-Counties 4, Port Angeles 2
Port Angeles 000 000 2 - 2 3 2
Tri-Counties 040 000 x - 4 7 0
Kyle Kelly and Marcus Kunapaski, Tyler Campbell (6). Weston Wick, Weston Seay (2) and Colby Mica. W: Wick. L: Kelly. S: Seay. HR: (PA) George Marinan (2-run). 2B: (TC) Dylan Blaha, Ryan Rerich, Cade Brewer. Highlights: (PA) Marinan 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBIs; Kelly 1 for 2. (TC) Rerich 1 for 3, 2B, R, 3 RBIs; Wick 6.2 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 9 K; Dylan Blaha 1 for 3, 2B, R; Blake McCracken 1 for 2.