Adrian slams Jackson
JACKSON -- Brandon Wolf's grand slam highlighted a nine-run first inning for Adrian Tuesday night, and the A's held off several rallies from the Jackson Bulls to claim a 12-9 victory in Game 4 of their Region 13C amateur baseball series at Wacker Field.
The best-of-five series is now tied 2-2, with Game 5 to be played Thursday night (7:30 p.m.) in Adrian. The winner of that game advances to the state tournament.
After getting outhit 18-3 and outscored 16-3 in Game 3 Saturday night, things didn't look too good for the A's coming into Tuesday's game in Jackson.
But a nine-run first inning helped propel Adrian to the victory.
Levi Bullerman was the first of 13 batters in the inning, as he led off by dropping down a bunt -- beating the throw for a single and advancing to second on a throwing error on the play.
Cody Kontz then walked, and Glen Kruger was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Wolf -- who drove a 1-0 offering from Kirby Johnson (Windom draftee) over the left-field fence. It was Wolf's third home run of the series and gave the A's a quick 4-0 lead.
After Johnson induced a groundout by Joe Kruger, Jason Stubbe reached on an error and scored on Max Zwart's RBI triple to the wall in right-center.
Jordon Kontz (2-for-4) then blooped an RBI-single to right, scoring Zwart to make it 6-0.
Matt Gades followed by drawing a walk, and Bullerman was hit by a pitch to load the bases -- and force Jackson to go to the bullpen with just one out in the frame.
Cody Kontz smacked a single to left off reliever Pat Boggess, scoring Jordon easily. Gades also scored when the ball was misplayed in left field.
Bullerman moved to third on the error and scored on Glen Kruger's groundout to shortstop -- increasing Adrian's bulge to 9-0.
Jackson, though, scored two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame -- starting its progressive comeback.
Lead-off man Andy Wolf was hit with a pitch, and Kody Johnson (Windom draftee) and Kip Wachal coaxed back-to-back, one-out walks to load the bases.
A passed ball with Jordan Lewis at the plate allowed Wolf to score, with Johnson moving to third.
Lewis then plated Johnson with an RBI-sacrifice fly to left, trimming the margin to 9-2.
Adrian made it 10-2 in the second, as the Bulls committed three more errors. Joe Kruger reached on an error and went to second on Stubbe's sacrifice bunt.
Zwart (Hadley draftee) reached on another error, moving Kruger to third -- where he scored on Jordon Kontz's sacrifice fly to deep left field. Lewis made a fine running catch in the gap to keep the damage to a minimum.
Jackson committed one more miscue in the frame but escaped the inning and played errorless baseball the rest of the game.
The Bulls pulled two more runs back in their half, as Jared Rahe (2-for-5) led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Wolf drew a two-out walk before Jon Hummel (4-for-6) cracked an RBI single to left to plate Rahe.
Kody Johnson followed with an RBI-double down the left-field line, scoring Wolf to make it 10-4.
Neither team scored in the third, but Adrian had to go to its bullpen when Zwart left with an arm injury seven pitches into the bottom of the inning.
Paul Counter (Hadley draftee) relieved Zwart and worked the next five innings. He came on with a man on first (single by Lewis) and a 2-0 count to Blaise Jacobsen in the third.
Jacobsen walked, but Cody Kontz (shortstop) turned a nifty double play (6-3) on a hard ground ball by Rahe and then fielded another grounder to get the A's out of the inning.
However, Jackson struck for four funs in the bottom of the fourth -- trimming the gap to 10-8.
Caleb Rossow (walk) and Wolf (fielder's choice) both reached base to start the frame, and an Adrian error on Wolf's ground ball allowed Rossow to slide safely into second.
Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball and scored on Hummel's two-run single to right-center. Johnson and Wachal then walked in consecutive plate appearances to load the bases.
Counter fanned the next batter for the first out, but a ground ball off the bat of Jacobsen brought in a pair of runs. A fielder's choice and a throwing error allowed both Hummel and Johnson to score and bring the Bulls within two.
Stubbe turned a nice 4-3 double play to get the A's out of that jam and then delivered a two-run single in the top of the fifth -- scoring Bullerman (walk) and Glen Kruger (walk) with a two-out bases-loaded hit up the middle.
Joe Kruger reached on an infield single to load the bases before Stubbe's hit put the A's up 12-8.
Jackson made it a three-run game (12-9) in the bottom half, as three straight one-out singles (Rossow, Wolf and Hummel) loaded the bases. Johnson plated Rossow with a deep drive (sacrifice fly) to right field, which Jordon Kontz tracked down for the second out.
Adrian couldn't add any insurance runs the rest of the way, but the A's kept the Bulls from scoring to keep the lead.
Counter fanned Wachal to end the fifth before wiggling out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh.
Rossow led off with a walk and went to third when Hummel smoked a one-out double to left. Adrian then intentionally walked Johnson to load the bases.
Wachal, representing the possible go-ahead run, then lifted a fly ball down the right-field line.
Jordon Kontz made a nice running catch in foul territory and made a strong throw to the plate -- where Bullerman fielded the rolling ball, blocked the plate and applied the tag on Rossow (tagging from third) for another A's inning-ending double play.
Kontz then came on and hurled the final two innings, working around a one-out triple by Jacobsen in the eighth and a lead-off walk by Rossow in the ninth.
Kontz induced a pop-out and fanned a batter to strand Jacobsen at third in the eighth, and the A's turned their fourth double play of the game in the ninth (4-6-3) to help close out the victory.
Boggess and Ryan Rasche both threw four innings of relief for Jackson, with Tom Schuller working two-thirds of an inning in-between.
R H E
Ad. 910 020 000 -- 12 10 2
Jck. 220 410 000 -- 9 11 6