Newcastle ends Grey Sox's season By Steve Thum For the first time in many years, there will be no team from Vermillion at the State "B" Amateur Baseball Tournament.
The defending state champs, the Vermillion Red Sox, were moved up to Class A this year. The Grey Sox remained in Class B, and had a chance to advance to the state tournament, but they were derailed by the Newcastle A�s 8-6 in the third place District 7B game Aug. 2.
On a humid Tuesday night at Prentis Park, the A�s got on the board first with a two-run first inning against Grey Sox starter Drew Lawrence. A walk, followed by a single and a botched fielder�s choice play at third base loaded the sacks for A�s DH Steve McGee, who singled home a pair of runs when the throw from centerfield got away from third baseman Ryan Baedke. Eventually Lawrence got out of the frame with no further damage being done.
McGee would single in another run in the top of the second to put the A�s up by three.
Newcastle starting pitcher Tom Schlimgen got into trouble in the bottom of the second. After giving up a leadoff single, the veteran righty plunked two batters to load the bases with nobody out. A fielder�s choice grounder by Bret Bartling plated Dave Holoch. Jeff Gilbertson lined into a double play as courtesy runner Kyle Mollet was doubled off of second to kill the rally.
Aaron Baedke doubled in Nick Mayer to cut the Newcastle lead to just one run at 3-2, but a baserunning mistake by Aaron on a fielder�s choice grounder saw a tag out at third base to stymie another rally.
Lawrence settled down after two shaky innings to start the game and held Newcastle scoreless for the next three innings.
Aaron Baedke tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer off of Schlimgen.
But the A�s would get a couple of runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, a routine ground ball slipped past Grey Sox first baseman Dave Holoch. Lawrence would fan the next batter, but a couple of walks would load the bases again. Jan Davis smacked a clutch two out double to bring home two runs to make it 5-3.
Bob Hess came on to pitch for the A�s in the bottom of the sixth, and walked the first three batters. But he was helped out by a couple of more Grey Sox miscues on the bases. Mark Clark, who drew a leadoff walk, went for third on a bunt attempt that was missed, and was tagged out at third. Gilbertson lined into another double play as Mollet was caught too far off of second base. Another Grey Sox rally squelched.
Lawrence gave up a single and a walk to start off the seventh, and his night on the mound was done as Kyle Mollet came on in relief. Mollet would get an out on a fielder�s choice, but then walked the next two batters to drive in a run to make it 6-3. Ryan Baedke came on in relief and got Chuck Sendelbach to ground into a double play to end the A�s threat.
The Grey Sox got to Hess in the bottom of the seventh as Ryan Baedke singled with one out. After a Hess strikeout of Aaron Baedke, Jason Dietrich tripled to bring home Baedke and make it 6-4. Dave Holoch singled to make it a one run game as Dietrich scored. Hess would get Mollet to ground out to end the inning.
After a scoreless eighth inning, the Grey Sox entered the last inning still down by a single run.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Steve Krier would single off of Baedke and set the stage for Brian Blatchford, who would slam a two-run homer to make it 8-5. Baedke retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Nick Mayer led off in the bottom of the ninth by hitting a solo homer off of Hess to make it 8-6, but that is as close as the Grey Sox would get. Hess struck out the next two batters, gave up a single to Dietrich, and got Dave Holoch to ground out to end the game, and the season for the Grey Sox.
Tom Schlimgen got the win for Newcastle, allowing three runs on five hits in five innings of work. Bob Hess got the save with four innings of relief, surrendering three runs on five hits.
Drew Lawrence took the loss for the Grey Sox, giving up six runs, four of them earned, on five hits. Lawrence walked eight and fanned two.
Steve McGee singled twice and drove in two for Newcastle. Blatchford homered and scored twice. Chuck Sendelbach walked twice and scored two runs.
Jason Dietrich singled twice, tripled, scored once, and drove in a run to lead the Grey Sox offense. Aaron Baedke homered and doubled, driving in two runs on the night. Nick Mayer also doubled and homered, and scored two runs.
Newcastle turned two double plays, the Grey Sox one. The A�s stranded 11 base runners, compared to nine men left on base for the Grey Sox.
Newcastle advances to the State �B� Tournament as the number three seed from District 7B.