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NBC notes: Wellington stays alive

  • Published Wednesday, August 7, 2013, at 11:15 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013, at 9:31 a.m.

One, two, let’s go

When the Wellington Heat opened Wednesday’s losers bracket game with two straight groundouts to first, manager Rick Twyman wasn’t exasperated.

Truth is, the Heat’s offense tends to improve with two outs. The Heat beat the San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Blues 8-2, scoring all eight runs with two outs.

“They’ve done it the whole summer,” Twyman said. “Honestly, what (irks me) is we don’t normally score with runners in scoring position with less than two outs. We do it the hard way.”

Robbie Rea earned a walk with two outs in the first inning, then Tony Piazza singled to center. Nick Billinger singled to center, driving in Rea.

Kirk Rocha hit a grounder that went up the arm of third baseman Jimmy Allen and into left field. Piazza didn’t hesitate, scoring from second base.

The Heat’s penchant for running and taking extra bases wasn’t because it didn’t respect the outfielders’ arms. That’s just how the Heat play.

“We run no matter what,” Twyman said. “We’ll take the extra bases. This is an extremely fast team. That’s part of our ballgame. We put pressure on people. We’re going to run. We’ve done it for 60 games or whatever it is. We’re not going to stop.”

Rea, a third baseman, agreed.

“We try to use (our speed) to our advantage as much as we can,” he said. “Whenever we can use it, we try to exploit it.”

The Heat’s TC Mark hit a fly to center, but Cody Jones’ dive wasn’t in time and both Billinger and Rocha scored for a 4-0 lead.

There was more of the same in the eighth when Piazza led off with a triple to the right corner. After a groundout and a strikeout, it looked as though the Heat would leave him stranded.

No need to fear, though.

Wellington scored four runs off three hits and two walks, all with two outs.

“It’s definitely a buzzkill when that happens,” Rea said of Piazza possibly being left at third. “But you trust everyone in the lineup. You know someone else will pick you up.”

Sure enough, Mark singled in Piazza, Aaron Siple got an RBI on a walk, and Nick Thimesch knocked in two with a single to right.

“We’re a big team for that,” Wellington pitcher Derek Fischer said of his team’s scoring with two outs. “We seem to string them together when we have to. It’s been working for us. Even though (Twyman) doesn’t like it, we’ll keep it going.”

Fischer appreciated the four-run first the Heat set him up with. Fischer, who was on four days’ rest, responded with seven innings in which he allowed seven hits and two earned runs.

He relied heavily on his fastball and first-pitch strikes.

“That’s what I tried to focus on, especially with coming back on short rest,” he said. “I want to work ahead of each hitter, and when I do that, it opens up me being able to throw other pitches.”

Worth noting

• After three games, the El Dorado Broncos led the NBC with a .298 batting average. The Santa Barbara Foresters were second at .289.

• Santa Barbara shutout its first three opponents, while the Hays Larks had the next-best ERA after three games, with a 1.00, only allowing five runs.

• Hays’ Aaron Cornell was second in the NBC with a .556 batting average after three games. El Dorado’s Johnny Coen had a .538 average.

Wednesday’s box scores

Wellington 8, San Luis Obispo 2

Wellington4000000408 11 1
San Luis Obispo1000001002 8 0

W — Fischer. L — Lynch.

El Dorado 1, Hays 0

Hays0000000000 1 0
El Dorado10000000x1 4 0

W — Cotton. L — Vance. S — Schuermann.

Late Tuesday

Santa Barbara 3, Clarinda 0

S.BarbaraClarinda
abrhbiabrhbi
Atwood rf4021Francia lf3010
Mattlage 2b3110Poindexter cf4000
Lechich cf3111Trahan ss2000
O’Hearn 1b4010Britt 1b3000
Hoelscher 3b4001Cormier rf4010
Felts c4010Long 3b4010
Epperson dh4110Thurman dh3010
Jones ss4000Ascherl c3000
Darby lf3000Raley 2b2000
Totals33373Totals28040

Santa Barbara0002100003
Clarinda0000000000

DP— Santa Barbara 2. LOB— Santa Barbara 5, Clarinda 6. SB — Atwood (2), Mattlage (2), Hoelscher, Francia (3), Raley. CS — Trahan.

Santa BarbaraIPHRERBBSO
Siomkin W,1-0740036
Weigel 100011
Lemke S,1100000

Clarinda IP H R ER BB SO
LeWarne L,0-1743312
Long120010
Harvill110001

Umpires—Home, Charlie Clemons; first, Mike Lentz; second, Mark Wagers.

T— 2:00.

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