It was a true pitcher’s duel in Tuesday night’s Sectional Final matchup between Green and South Webster, and it was the Jeeps that got the timely hits in a 4-1 victory.
Garrett Rawlins went 3-for-3 on the night, driving in two runs for the Jeeps, and Bradley Gee pitched six solid innings, allowing a single run.
The Jeeps clutch hitting was on display early, when Alek Blevin’s two-out double was immediately followed up with an RBI single by Rawlins.
“That was huge,” said South Webster head coach Ryan McClintik. “It seems all year long we’ve been on the other side of that, getting down early.”
South Webster used small ball to generate another run in the fourth inning. After a single to lead off the inning, Rawlins stole second and then reached home with the help of two sacrifices from Trevor Coriell and Brody Queen.
From there, Gee took control of the game. The freshman didn’t allow a Bobcat baserunner until the fourth inning, and struck out three batters in that span.
“These last couple of outings, he’s really pitched huge for us,” McClintik said. “Earlier in the year, he was probably our third starter, but he’s proved over the last couple of weeks that, as a freshman, he can come up here with the varsity level and really compete.”
Gee’s counterpart, Green senior pitcher Caleb Johnson, was also cruising. He would pitch a complete game, striking out eight batters along the way.
“That’s about Caleb’s tenth quality start this season,” said Bobcat head coach Dan McDavid. “We we put Caleb on the mound, we’ve kind of grown to expect that.”
Gee would run into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth. After Green second baseman Clay Applegate singled to begin the inning, Gee would walk center fielder Trent Marcum and allow Johnson to reach first on a single. With only one out in the inning, the Bobcats seemed poised to make a comeback.
However, Gee would get Mark Allen to pop out to the catcher, limiting the damage to a single run.
“I just went out there and told him and said ‘Hey, we trust you out here…imagine no one’s on base,’” McClintik said. “That’s exactly what he did. That’s big for a freshman out there…he grew up tonight.”
The Jeeps would add two insurance runs in the top of the sixth, with another Rawlins RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Gee. Rawlins would then enter the game in the bottom of the seventh and strike out three Bobcats to record the save.
“Garrett’s been huge for us all year,” McClintik said. “He’s a kid…who’s made so much improvement since last year.”
With the victory, the Jeeps will face the winner of Glenwood and Fairfield on Saturday in Paint.
Senior Bobcats Johnson, Applegate, Marcum and Matt Howard all played in their final game for Green on Tuesday.
“This group of seniors has never had a losing season,” McDavid said. “They’ve been a backbone. They held the young kids up. We got great leadership out of them.”
Despite the loss of team leaders, McDavid is excited for the future of Green baseball.
“Future is bright,” he said. “The last five senior classes haven’t had a losing season, we expect to make it six next season.”
Alex Hider can be reached at 353-3101, ext 294, or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter
South Webster 100 102 0 — 4 8 3
Green 000 100 0 — 1 4 0
South Webster — Fuller 1-3, Blevins 2-3 (2 R), Rawlins 3-3 (2B, 2 RBI, R), Queen 1-3 (RBI), Gee 1-3
Green — Applegate 1-3 (R), Marcum 1-3, Johnson 2-3
W — Gee (6 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 1 ER)
L — Johnson (7 IP, 8 K, 2 BB, 8 H, 3 ER)
S — Rawlins (1 IP, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 H, 0 ER)