Magic mitts: Windsor baseball stays undefeated with victory over Erie
April 6, 2017
Windsor — So far this season, Windsor has played just one game decided by fewer than three runs.
On the other end of the spectrum, all six of Erie's losses have been decided by one run.
Windsor is ranked No. 1 in the Class 4A RPI at 5-0, and Erie is No. 46 in the RPI at 1-6 and not where it expected to be after making the state consolation semifinals last year.
Still, Windsor didn't underestimate the Tigers, who gave the Wizards a run for their money Thursday during a 13-9 Wizards win at Mo Kvamme Field.
"Every year Erie is tough to beat," coach Brad Deal said. "The games are always close and it's good baseball. Fun baseball."
Although the game itself was unorthodox, it easily lived up to that standard.
Early on, everything was going Windsor's way. After a strong top of the first by starter Corte Tapia, he helped himself out in the bottom half by sending an 0-2 fastball over the left-field wall to take a 3-0 lead.
The Wizards tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 6-0, and after four innings, Windsor was cruising with a 10-2 lead.
In the fifth, Erie pieced together quick three hits to score two runs to drive Tapia out of the game.
They fared even better against his replacement, Ty Montgomery. Montgomery walked the first two batters he faced and in only 1⁄3 of an inning he gave up four runs. When he exited the game, that sizable lead was suddenly down to one.
"We had talked yesterday about how Coach (Harold) Simmons' teams play," Deal said. "They don't quit. They get big hits in big times."
Despite Erie's run, the Wizards didn't back down from the competition.
The fact Erie had lost four straight wasn't lost on them either.
"We talked about how they had lost a bunch of games by one run," Tapia said. "We wanted to break the streak, especially when they pulled within one. We didn't want to let them stay there."
They did that by answering with two runs of their own thanks to a timely two-out single by Josh Barker.
"It gave us a sense of fire, it kept us focused," Zach Watts said. "It drove us to come up with hits and make plays when we needed them."
They added one more run in the bottom of the sixth to score a run in every inning and multiple runs in four.
Watts shut the Tigers down for the 2 1⁄3 innings he worked out of the bullpen, striking out four and giving up only one hit.
"My mindset doesn't change no matter what the situation is," Watt said. The goal of our pitching staff is always to throw strikes and pitch to contact. Today, our defense played well and made plays."
Best Individual Performance
Despite struggling on the mound in the fifth, Tapia held Erie to only two runs through the first four innings.
He also was the main reason the Wizards had such a big lead, driving in five RBI and scoring two runs.
In the top of the fourth, Windsor was up 10-2 and had the bases loaded with only one out. Erie easily could have rolled over and given up.
Instead, it battled its way back to make the Wizards earn the win.
These two teams will match up again at 11 a.m. Saturday, this time in Erie. The Wizards return home Tuesday for a nonconference matchup against Ponderosa.
EHS 002 070 0 — 9 11 13
WHS 331 231 x — 13 13 2
EHS — Ruben Portillo (L, 0-0, 7H, 4ER, 4BB, 3SO), Eli Shrader (4th, 5H, 4ER, 4BB, 1SO), Kyle Couper (6th, 2H, 0ER, 0BB, 1 SO) and John Mirabassi. 2B – Mirabassi, Garrett Mayers, Matt Kelly, Zach Elliston; RBI – Hunter Nelson, Portillo, Elliston 2, Mayers 2, Kelly 2.
WHS — Corte Tapia (W, 2-0, 7H, 4ER, 1BB, 7SO), Ty Montgomery (5th, 2H, 4ER, 2BB, 0SO), Zach Watts (5th, 1H, 0ER, 1BB, 4SO and Keegan Vialpando. 2B – Bryce English, Mitchell Watson 2; HR – Tapia (2 on in 1st); RBI – Jared Jensen, Bailey Brachtenbach, Watts, Watson 2, Josh Barker 3, Tapia 5.