Anyone keeping track of strikeouts at Wednesday’s baseball game at Annawan would have ran out of the letter Ks after 11 innings of play.
Between them, four pitchers for Hall and Annawan/Wethersfield combined for 35 strikeouts. A/W starter Tom Jenkins struck out 20 alone over 10 innings in a non-decision. Hall starter Julian Barroso had seven Ks over 6.2 innings and winning pitcher A.J. Gaeta fanned six in 3.1 innings of relief.
Hall coach Tom Keegan said it’s the first time he’s every been a part of something like that.
“Their coach said Jenkins has put up some unbelievable numbers (this year). He’s got good velocity with good movement,” he said.
Jenkins, a left-hander, has full command of four pitches, A/W coach Jeff Parsons said, including an impressive heater, which has been clocked at 90 miles per hour. On the year, Jenkins has fanned 116 batters in 60 innings, including an 18-strikeout effort in 10 innings against West Prairie. He sports a 0.70 ERA.
“He is the kid that pitched us to the Sweet Sixteen in 2A,” Parsons said.
Jenkins has a full scholarship offer to Parkland in Champaign and coach Dave Garcia.
After all the strikeouts, the Red Devils (19-4) pushed across the winning-run in the top of the 11th on a steal of home by Miguel Villareal to take the game 2-1. He waited for the catcher to throw to the pitcher and beat the return throw to the plate.
Taggart Venegas and Gaeta each had two hits for the Red Devils, Gaeta driving in Venegas with a base knock in the first.
AW had a two-out, two-strike hit to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.
• Go-Go Tigers: In 1959, the American League champion Chicago White Sox were known as the Go Go Sox. The same moniker could be used for the Princeton Tigers.
The Tigers have now swiped 123 bases this year, breaking the school record of 96 set in 2002. Seniors Isaiah Taylor (23 SBs) and J.J. Vaccaro (18) and soph Jake Reinhardt (20) lead the base thievery.
Baseball regionals: Bureau Valley hosts the local 2A baseball regional, but will travel to St. Bede for a quarterfinal meeting Monday at 4:30 p.m. Their winner will face top-seeded Hall at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Manlius. No. 2 Princeton awaits Tuesday’s winner between No. 6 Riverdale and No. 5 Erie/Prophetstown at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Manlius.
LaMoille/Ohio hosts a play-in game of the Putnam County 1A regional, facing Earlville/Leland at 4:30 p.m. Monday. Their winner advances to Wednesday’s semifinals at Jenkins Field in Granville to face the top-seeded Panthers. By winning the regional, PC would be rewarded by getting to stay on its home field for sectionals.
Softball regionals: The St. Bede 2A softball regional gets underway Monday when the No. 4 and defending champions Lady Bruins host No. 5 Bureau Valley at 4:30 p.m. Their winner lands top-seeded Seneca at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. On Wednesday, No. 2 Hall faces No. 3 Princeton.
In 1A, Putnam County is the No. 1 seed at the Henry Regional, where on Tuesday, they will meet the winner of Monday’s play-in game with No. 5 Henry at No. 4 Midland. The Lady Panthers will be playing to return home for sectionals. Wednesday’s semifinal matches No. 2 Marquette vs. Woodland.
No. 4 LaMoille/Ohio (2-12) hosts a regional opener against No. 5 Paw Paw in the Serena Regional, where the host Lady Huskers are top seeded.
• Notes: Hall and Princeton played into the third inning before rain halted play in Thursday's baseball game at Princeton. They are planning to make the game up Monday as a final tuneup for regional.
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