Lose opener 8-5 but get quality pitching in 7-2 win in nightcap
The rest was welcome and the result pretty pleasing, too.
That’s how Medical Lake AA American Legion baseball coach Kerry Kelly summed up last Sunday’s split with Federal League leading West Kootenay.
Medical Lake fell 8-5 in the opener to the Diamondbacks from Trail, British Columbia, but got a “gem” of a pitching performance from Deven Wesebaum and won game two 7-2. The win ended a four-game losing streak for ML and handed WK its first league loss.
“I think it was good for the boys, they needed a little reprieve,” Kelly said of his team’s only two games of the week. Originally the two teams were to meet both Saturday in ML and Sunday in Trail, British Columbia but that was trimmed to two games. This break came after a span of 10 games in 11 days.
After Medical Lake (7-5 in the Federal League) watched a close game get away from them in the opener with some defensive lapses, they may have played the best game of the summer season in the nightcap.
“We came out firing, we got one run in the first inning, added a few more (four to be exact) in the fourth,” Kelly said. Medical Lake did their damage on just five hits with Wilbur’s Brent Rosman having two of those, including a double.
The biggest factor was the pitching of Reardan’s Wesebaum who tossed a complete game, delivering 13 strikeouts while giving up just three hits. “He just threw a gem,” Kelly said. “It’s one of those games that you wish you could just bottle up and show them what they’re capable of doing.”
Even though Wesebaum was in control of the game, Kootenay (7-1) was hitting the ball hard, “But we were catching the ball,” Kelly said.
“That’s the way it goes,” Kelly said, about when a pitcher is on. “You’re more focused on the game, you’re making the diving catch, you’re executing the relay.”
It was a great game to rebound with as Wesebaum teamed with fellow former Reardan Indian Nathan Sorci as the battery in Sunday’s second game.
“They’re like Kasey (Kelly) and Adam (Paulson) were as far as chemistry,” Kelly said, comparing his son and his buddy – now with the Spokane Crew select team – who helped lead the Cardinals deep in the state playoffs.
Sorci normally does not catch, at least for the American Legion team Kelly said. “He’s my super utility guy. He pitches, he plays second, he plays short, he plays center, he can play third,” Kelly said. “I can plant him anywhere in the field, anywhere in the lineup and he is going to do whatever is asked,” he added.
“Sorci came up to me and begged me for about five seconds and I said Ok,” Kelly said. “There’s something to be said about chemistry between pitcher and catcher, it’s just a beautiful thing when they’re on the same page.”
In the opener, Wagner was pitching a great game and the defense delivered a bit of a dud in the fifth inning as the visitors from Trail plated three runs to get breathing room in what had been just a 4-3 WK lead.
“We have one inning where we gave up more than three outs,” Kelly said of a part of the game when seemingly everyday plays don’t get made. “When you’re giving teams opportunities and not getting the outs they’re giving you,” it can hurt, Kelly said.
This is especially true against a team like West Kootenay. “They are the best team we’ve seen all year, them and Colville,” he said. Cory Wagner and Joey Beamer each had three hits with Beamer’s totals including a double in the first game.
Medical Lake plays at Northwest Christian in a doubleheader Friday in Colbert with games at 3 and 5:30 p.m.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.