Varsity baseball caps series-sweep of Vandegrift

With two outs down for Westlake in the bottom of the third and trailing 1-3, Denton Apple popped up what appeared to be a routine in-field fly ball to Trey Mongauzy. But the second baseman wasn’t able to locate the ball, and his error resulted in two runs scoring for the Chaps and the start of a nightmare inning for Vandegrift Tuesday night at Woerner Field in Westlake.    

Vandegrift’s starter, Christian Okerholm, hit three consecutive batters, and Garrett Moore walked two more in relief to gift Westlake four runs before Ethan Gross finally got the Vipers out of the inning, down 3-7.

“We let one play take the wind out of our sails,” Vandegrift head coach Allen McGee said. “We had a 3-1 lead, and we had a pop-up in the in-field to get out of the inning, and we drop it, and we never really recovered from that. That’s part of the maturation process as a team is learning how to overcome mistakes and stop the bleeding right there and not let it become a terrible inning.”

The Vipers never recovered, and Westlake finished the night with 10 hits and seven base-on-balls for a 13-4 win.

Both Izaiah Faz and Tripp Graham went 2-3 on the night, and Ford Elliot went 2-2 with two RBI’s. Peyton Sanderson had a game-high three RBI’s.  

“Our guys were ready to go,” head coach JT Blair said. “The third game of the series is usually going to be the offensive game of the series, and we got down early 3-0, but I knew we weren’t going to be out of it because the way we’ve been swinging the bat, I knew we were going to score some runs, and we did.”  

Westlake’s evening started poorly when their starter, Ben Ludwig, gave up a three-run homerun to Justin Moore in the top of the first. But unlike the Vandegrift pitchers, Ben responded by going six innings deep, giving up just one more run and striking out 12.

“I had to trust my stuff, trust the coach calling pitches,” he said. “I knew if I threw strikes, good things were going to happen. I know that my defense can make plays. In the middle innings, I was a little bit tired, but when I went back out there for the sixth, I was feeling good. I was ready to go back in the seventh, but they put [Dylan] Savino in instead.”

The next stretch of six games will be crucial for Westlake according to Blair. They kick off the stretch 7 p.m. tomorrow at home against Hays and play two more games against them before travelling to Lake Travis for game one of a three-game series against the Cavaliers.

“Both of those teams were playoff teams last year,” Blair said. “It’s nice to be 3-0, but we got to put this one behind us and get ready for Hays. They’re going to be a tough opponent.”