Bears bring down Comet boys

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The Comets lost 10-0 to West Branch in their first post-season game. The game began July 12 at Mount Vernon and was suspended because of rain after one inning. The Comets trailed 4-0 going into the second inning when the game was finished July 14.

"We didn't hit and we didn't field," West Liberty Head Coach Troy Wulf said. "It's simple. I think we had five errors, and two or three hits. There's not much you can do when you don't have those two aspects. Brett (Becker) gave us what he could on the mound. We just couldn't make enough plays behind him, and we didn't score."

In the top of the first, Becker got a two-out single to center field. With Sergio Zamora up to bat, Becker advanced to second then third on two wild pitches. Zamora worked the count full then walked. The next batter flied out to right field, leaving two Comets on base.

In the bottom of the inning, West Branch scored four runs on a lead-off triple, two singles, and a double. Becker got two strikeouts in the inning, including a three-pitch strikeout to end the inning. It began to rain heavily, and the pitching mound and batters' box were covered. With more rain coming, the game was suspended.

Back in Mount Vernon on a breezy and cool but dry evening, the Comets were retired in order in the top of the second, all on strikeouts.

The Bears got a lead-off single, and the runner advanced to second on a passed ball. The next batter hit into a fielder's choice. Becker threw to Bryce Esmoil at third base for the first out. The runner at first stole second base, but Becker picked him off with a nice throw to Aspelmeier at second base. The batter walked, stole second, and advanced to third on the throw to second base. The next batter drew a base on balls as well. A single up the middle scored a run, and another run scored on a passed ball. Becker struck out the next batter. The Bears had a 6-0 lead heading into the third inning.

Michael Hartman reached on an error with one out in the top of the third. The next batter struck out. Becker singled to put runners at first and second. Both runners advanced on an West Branch error, but a strikeout ended the half-inning with two Comets on the bases.

In the bottom half of the third, the lead-off batter hit a double to left field. A single and a fielder's choice scored a run. Two fly outs ended the inning. West Branch had a 7-0 lead.

The Comets were retired in order in the top of the fourth on two groundouts and a strikeout.

West Branch scored two more runs in the fourth. On a one-out double, a hit batsman, and a single. Becker picked off a runner at first for the second out of the half-inning with a nice move to Zamora on first. The next batter lined the ball back to Becker, who reacted quickly and made the catch to end the inning. The Comets trailed 9-0.

Josh Walshire singled to center field to lead off the fifth inning. He took second base on a passed ball then was picked off at second for the first out of the inning. The next batter struck out. Hartman worked the count full then walked. He was left on base when the next batter struck out.

The Bears scored their 10th run in the bottom of the fifth to end the game. The first batter reached base on a dropped third strike that rolled to the backstop. The runner advanced to second when another ball got away from the catcher. Becker got a strikeout for the first out of the inning. The runner advanced to third on a passed ball, and Becker got his second strikeout of the inning, this one looking. The next batter hit a scorcher to the shortstop and beat out the throw to first base. The run scored to end the game.

This game was a rematch of pitchers in a game on June 27 that the Comets won 2-0.

"I've got to give credit to West Branch," Becker said. "They did a better job this time around. I didn't have my best stuff tonight, either. We played hard, it didn't end how we wanted, but sometimes that's how it goes."

Offensively, we did everything we've been trying to do all year," West Branch Head Coach B.J. Rios said. "We put the bat on the ball. We've been working on (Becker's) curve ball ever since the first time we saw him."

The loss ended the high school careers of seniors Becker and Zamora.

"I think both seniors gave us everything they had," Wulf said. "Sergio (Zamora) had a nice year. He did a nice job at first. We don't win any games if we don't have Brett (Becker). He had three of our four wins on the mound. He hit well over .400 in a lineup that probably hit under .250. The one guy that did it every night was Brett Becker. Unfortunately, we were just too young around those two guys to be consistent."

"This didn't end the way we wanted it to," Zamora said. "We beat these guys already this year, and we knew we were better than that.

"Me and Brett played hard every game. We did what we could."
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