On To Sulphur

Monterey coach Eric Richard hugs pitcher Ethan Clark after the Wolves defeated Pitkin 1-0.

A bizarre double play in the sixth inning by No. 20 Monterey’s baseball tram allowed the No. 20 Wolves to upset No. 12 Pitkin 1-0 in Monterey Friday in a Class B quarterfinal contest.

Pitken was the defending state champion.

Monterey will face the winner of No. 1 Choudrant and No. 8 Fairview Tuesday in Sulphur.

Monterey led Pitkin 1-0 going into the sixth inning as Wolf pitcher Ethan Clark held the defending state champions to three hits.

Pitkin’s Ethan West led off with a double and Jaxon Perkins reached on an error.

Perkins stole second, putting runners at second and third with no one out.

An attempted squeeze bunt popped up into the glove of a charging Ethan Heard who caught the ball.

West, who broke for home on the bunt, turned to run back to third. Heard’s throw went into left field, but West missed the base going to tag up and ran home.

Monterey coach Eric Richard yelled at his team to touch third, which they did, doubling West.

Pitkin coach J.C. Holt, who played at LSU, fell to the ground, holding his arms over his head in disbelief.

Clark got the next batter to fly out to end the threat.

“I told the guys when the had the runners on we just had to get some outs,” Clark said. “I prayed before the game, I prayed during that inning and I prayed at the end. God answered our prayers.”

Richard was just hoping to keep the runs at a minimum.

“I told Ethan it would be OK if they score a run because we were going to score some more,” Richard said. “But it all worked out. I saw him miss the base by half-a-foot and started yelling at our guys. How crazy is it that a No. 20 seed is going to Sulphur, But that’s these kids. They believe in themselves and have even more confidence when Ethan is on the mound.”

Monterey also was involved in a bizarre double play by Pitkin.

Jake Crawford led off the fourth with a single and stole second.

J.J. Farris grounded to third base where Pitkin third baseman Connor Goleman threw to first. Crawford ran to third on the throw, but was tagged out.

Ethan Heard then singled and Nathan Blount was hit by a pitch, but both were left stranded.

“That’s baseball,” Richard said.

In the fifth inning, singles by Pitkin’s Carter Leblanc an Goleman with two outs had the tying run in scoring position, but Clark forced the next guy to fly out to right field.

The only run of the game came in the bottom of the third as Charlie Tarver led off by reaching on an error.

Tarver stole second.

Following a groundout by Kerry King, Mason Wells delivered an RBI single.

“We’re just so much better with Ethan on the mound,” Richard said. “The guys played really well behind him. This team has come such a long way.”

Pitkin pitcher Zeke Lentz alllowed only three hits.

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