by Rob Grubbs
After halting a three-game losing streak at home on Thursday night, the McIntosh Chiefs looked to take game three on Friday at Whitewater and put a firm grip on second place in Region 3-AAAA. Behind a solid pitching night from Braxton Roop and 4 RBIs from Andrew Pinckney, the Chiefs slugged their way to an 11-3 victory.
The got excellence in all three phases of the game: Dominant pitching from Roop, solid timely hitting from the entire lineup, and several defensive web gems, especially from shortstop Ryder Wagenknecht.
Burton Hahn got the offense rolling in the top of the second inning when he hit a long home run to left center, and Pinckney followed later with a two-out double that scored two for a Chief 3-0 lead. Pinckney drove in two more runs in the fourth inning as the Chiefs looked to put some distance on the Wildcats.
Whitewater head coach Rusty Bennett’s team had played from behind most of the series and continued to scrap for runs. They got on the board with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth, but Roop got out of further damage by getting the third out with the bases loaded on a strike out.
The Chief offense added two runs in the fifth inning and four in the top of the seventh while the Wildcats, who fought to the end, got RBIs in the sixth from Connor Faulkner and Dylan Morris, but the deficit was too much to overcome as the Chiefs prevailed.
Roop went 5 innings and gave up 3 hits and no earned runs for the victory. The top three in the Chiefs order, seniors Ty Butler, Jack Bokowski, and Pinckney, combined for three runs and 7 RBIs.
Butler knew the team had to bounce back from the three-game skid.
Pinckney knows it’s key to build momentum now.
“We definitely want to get better as a team and continue to do the small things like get the bunts down,” he said. “Come playoff time, we will get hot and anything can happen.”
The work of sophomore Wagenknecht was not lost on the seniors.
“He is not the loudest guy, but when he makes mistakes he owns up and tries to make up for them, he does his job,” said Pinckney.
The Chiefs added a win on Saturday against non-region foe Dutchtown 6-2 and now have a solid hold on second place in the region. They will be rooting for Whitewater in a couple of weeks when the Wildcats face Starr’s Mill. A three-game sweep by Whitewater in that series would put the Chiefs back in first place.
The Chiefs are taking spring break off before returning with a series against Griffin.
To see more photos from games two and three, click [btn type=”default or primary or success or info or warning or danger or link” link=”https://www.cdphotography23.com/Sports/High-School/Baseball/Baseball-2019/Whitewater-vs-McIntosh/”]here[/btn].