Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON — Two completely different games were played by each baseball team Monday in Southeast Conference action. But disregarding the team names, the two games played were similar, both ending by mercy rule. Washington won the opener 15-3 in six innings, and Mt. Pleasant won the nightcap 10-0 in five.
“It starts with pitching. Pitching is everything,” Washington coach Nathan Miller said. “You cannot have free passes, can’t win games like that.”
“The two games were opposite of each other,” Mt. Pleasant coach Brent Broeker said. “We couldn’t make a play, walked and hit guys in the first one and then they walked and hit guys and gave it back to us in the second game.”
The Panthers only previous league win was Keokuk, “so this should give us some confidence going into the postseason,” Broeker said. “We just have to prevent errors and walks and hit batters. We do that, then we have a shot.”
Trevor Wellington went a combined 4-for-6 with two doubles for the Panthers. Dalton Gardner, Williamson, Edeker, Colten Hutson and Zerek Venghaus had at least two hits apiece on the night.
“Wellington has been swinging well,” Broecker said. “We need to get our fast guys on and let Trevor knock them in.”
Jacob Ensminger threw all five innings for the win, allowing six Demon hits, two walks with three strikeouts. Will Edeker took the loss on three hits, two walks, five strikeouts with none of the five runs earned run. Lincoln Henriksen gave up 10 runs on four hits and eight walks.
For Washington, the second game started and ended on the mound. At one point in the game, the Demons put nine of 12 on base for free.
“You just can’t do that,” Miller said. “We have to maintain our mental focus.” Of the 12 free passes, Washington gave up in the second game, there was one error.
“It’s not like the defense is putting people on,” Miller said.
The Demons made adjustments in the first game contributing to the combined 10 runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pull away.
For guys to revert to free passes at the end of the season with everyone having had multiple opportunities during a good week and a half of throwing strikes concerned Miller.
“There’s nothing I can do about it, it’s on players. They have to decide,” Miller said. “The guys on the mound need to challenge hitters.”