By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
ENTERPRISE – When the wheels came off for Thrasher Friday night, West Union was happy to drive past.
No-hit through four innings by top-seed Thrasher’s Cole Lauderdale, West Union took advantage of six errors in the fifth, scoring all 12 runs in a 12-2 win in five innings.
The three-seed Eagles (15-13) advance to Class 1A state quarterfinals against TCPS.
“We knew they had good pitching. We worked on the little things, a walk here, forcing an error, bunting,” West Union coach Ashley Russell said.
Thrasher took a 2-0 lead in the first on Luke Walden’s deep home run to left and
Lauderdale cruised with seven strikeouts.
One error opened the gates in the fifth.
Tyler Wooley reached on an error and Mikey Burks bunted the bases loaded with no outs. Zak Jumper grounded to short but the throw to catcher Walden was high and Wooley scored the Eagles’ first run.
With one out, Chase Bogue gave his team a 3-2 lead with a bases-loaded double to left. Joey Dillard then grounded an awkward hop that first baseman Kyle Beren and teammate Blake Pounds collided on. Dillard reached as two runs scored. Two hits and four straight errors later and West Union led 9-2. Drew Garrett added an RBI single and Dillard’s bases-loaded two-RBI double ended it.
West Union had seven hits and sent 16 batters to the plate.
“That was crazy,” said senior Burks. “Nobody expected us to go anywhere. We’ve barely had anybody up here, like just our moms and dads. Now we’ve got tons.”
Garrett improved to 8-3, allowing three hits to Tyree Fryar.
Lauderdale (5-3) took the loss.
“That’s probably the biggest inning in West Union history,” said Eagles’ senior Chris Beard. “All of a sudden guys started getting on base and doing what we’ve been working on.”
Thrasher, with it’s first-ever division title and first winning season and playoff berth since 1976 finished the season 16-10.
When starting pitcher and third baseman Josh Walden went down with a torn ACL Thursday, it meant starting five guys in new positions.