Spellbound: Windsor baseball stays undefeated in league play with win over Frederick
April 20, 2017
Over the course of a 19-game high school baseball season, a team is going to face teams with more talent and teams with less.
For Windsor (8-0 Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference, 10-1 overall), they have played a lot more of the latter. After a 5-2 win over Frederick (2-7, 3-9) on a windy Thursday afternoon at Mo Kvamme field, add the Warriors to that list.
"We're not worried about the score, Frederick is a good team and with baseball you never know," Windsor coach Brad Deal said. "We're just in a phase to get better every day."
The Wizards got the scoring started in the home half of the first. After Brandon Rhodes and Braden Peninger walked to put runners on first and second, Mitchel Watson hit a single through the left side of the infield to drive in Rhodes. Two batters later, Jake Barker hit a two-out single to drive in Watson and stretch the Wizards' lead to two.
Frederick answered with a run of its own in the top of the second, aided by two Windsor errors. Jake Frenzel picked up the first Warrior hit to lead off the inning. Westlee Powers shot a single to left two pitches later that Josh Barker bobbled in left field, allowing Frenzel to score and Powers to move to second.
The second error came at the hands of pitcher Corte Tapia, when Ryan Bacca laid down a sacrifice bunt. Tapia fielded the ball on the first-base line and fired wide right to first base, pulling Watson off the bag.
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Thinking the ball went into right field, Powers tried to score but was hung out to dry when Watson threw home, keeping the Wizards' lead at one.
That's where the lead would stay until the bottom of the fourth.
With one out in that inning, Bailey Brachtenbach hustled out an infield single to spark the Wizards offense. Barker and Rhodes knocked back-to-back doubles to plate two, and Peninger capped the scoring with an RBI triple to left-center to push Windsor's lead to 5-1.
"Even with the five runs (their pitcher) did a good job," Deal said. "He didn't really give up a big inning and he kept them in the game."
The Warriors scored another run in the top of the sixth to drive Tapia out of the game, only to face the Wizard's closer, Zach Watts.
Watts got out of the sixth with only three pitches, then proceeded to strike out the side in the seventh to close the door.
"He's a great fit as a closer," Deal said. "He's been in that role for two years now and he loves being in the situation to get those last outs."
With another win under its belt and just seven games left in the regular season, Windsor's focus is improvement and peaking going into the postseason.
"At this point, we've got all the big steps down," Tapia said. "Now we're just working on the little things."
Best Individual Performance
Corte Tapia turned out another great performance on the mound, striking out seven, giving up only one earned run and moving his record to 4-0. A couple different bounces and the two runs he gave up could've easily been zero.
Though it only faced a one-run deficit throughout most of the game, Frederick never really threatened to take the lead. Once the Wizards added three more in the bottom of the fourth, the game was effectively over.
These two teams will face off again at 11 a.m. Saturday, this time in Frederick. The Wizards will return home Thursday to take on conference foe Holy Family.
FHS 010 001 0 — 5 6 1
WHS 200 300 x — 2 7 3
FHS — Avery Elkins (L, 0-1, 7H, 4ER, 5BB, 0SO) and Westlee Powers; RBI – Powers
WHS — Corte Tapia (W, 4-0, 7H, 1ER, 2BB, 7SO), Zach Watts (6th, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 3SO) and Keegan Vialpando. 2B – Brandon Rhodes, Keegan Vialpando; 3B – Braden Peninger; RBI – Jake Barker, Mitchel Watson, Rhodes, Peninger, Vialpando.