Woodbridge defeats Stone Bridge to win Let's Play Two high school baseball tournament
As Stone Bridge third baseman Taylor Lambke stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 10th inning of the Let's Play Two Tournament championship game at Woodbridge, the feeling that swept through the Woodbridge players in the field was uniform.
"There were multiple times we thought we had them and they just kept coming back and getting us," senior shortstop Kyle Toomey said.
The Vikings led for much of the game and took a two-run advantage into the home half of the eighth, only to watch the Bulldogs knot the score at 6 to extend the game. So when the Vikings added a pair of runs in the top of the 10th, they knew their lead was far from secure.
The game appeared destined to continue when Lambke's sacrifice fly pulled the Bulldogs (6-1) within a run, but Woodbridge catcher Zack Szwed threw out pinch runner Joe Lynch, who was attempting to advance to second on the relay, ending the game and giving the Vikings a hard-earned 8-7 victory.
Only a few hours after knocking off No. 9 West Springfield in the semifinals, Woodbridge (7-0) jumped to a 2-0 lead on Toomey's first-inning line-drive two-run homer to center. The Vikings extended their advantage to 3-0 in the top of the second, but Stone Bridge battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the third.
The Vikings retook the lead on a dropped fly ball in the fifth, but Stone Bridge sophomore Tyler Mocabee -- who came in to pitch in relief of Lambke -- laced a single up the middle to tie the game once again. Both teams scored two runs in the eighth and in the top of the final frame, Woodbridge laid down three consecutive bunts to set the table for Toomey's two-run single to right that would prove to be the game-winner.
"We just wanted to get somebody in scoring position ahead of our best hitters," Woodbridge Coach Jason Ritenour said. "It happened to work out for us."
Senior starting pitcher Nick Rogowski pitched eight innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits and striking out 17 Bulldogs. J.J. White had a pair of singles and two RBI for the Bulldogs, who could not repeat their heroics from Tuesday night when they rallied late and eventually knocked off tournament co-host Osbourn Park.
Mr. Clutch: Tyler Mocabee, who tossed a no-hitter against Cardozo on Saturday, came up huge for the Bulldogs, escaping a pair of bases-loaded jams to extend the game while going 3 for 3 at the plate.
Going the distance: In eight innings on the mound, Nick Rogowski eclipsed 150 pitches while facing 44 hitters but never appeared to tire, allowing only three walks to go with his 17 strikeouts.
"I kept asking him when we got to the sixth inning, 'How do you feel?', Ritenour said. "He said 'I feel fine.' When we got to the eighth, I said. 'Your pitch count is getting up,' and he said, 'I want the ball.' He deserves the ball, so that's why we stuck with him."