State Baseball: Opportunities Abound, but Washington Doesn't Take Them in Loss to DC-G

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

DES MOINES - Wasted.

Washington's Demons did everything they could to knock off Class 3A's top seed Tuesday afternoon at the state baseball tournament. They put all kinds of guys on base and got them over into scoring position.

But that's where they died, more often than not, along with those championship dreams. Dallas Center-Grimes scored a run in the top of the ninth inning and survived this quarterfinal upset bid, 3-2, at steamy Principal Park.

"That was the key today," said Washington Coach Nathan Miller. "If we could have got that timely hit in the five or six innings we had runners in scoring position, we might be in a different situation (right now), walking away with a win ... We just couldn't get over that hump."

Despite having so, so many chances. Washington (22-15) left a guy on third in the first inning, guys on second and third in the second, a guy at second in the third ...

You get the idea. The Demons had four consecutive singles in the second inning but a pickoff at second base played a large part in them not scoring.

"Really frustrating," said first baseman Walker Breard, who had a hit and three walks. "It was the mental things that kept us from scoring. We outhit them 9-4, I think. It's just hard ... to be so close to a win."

They were getting on base regularly against a pitcher not used to having guys on base against him. DCG's Tyler Peyton came in with a 9-0 record and 0.37 earned run average.

He knew how to work his way out of jams.

"I've never been (in situations) like that. It never came around this year," said Peyton, who had given up fewer baserunners than innings pitched this season and struck out an average of almost two an inning. "I was really glad that I could come through."

Washington pitcher Andy Henry retired the first 12 hitters he faced, but Dallas Center-Grimes (34-2) got to him for two runs in the fifth. That was the way the game stayed until the seventh.

Colin Steele had a leadoff double and Tanner Knupp a single to left for Washington. Knupp went to second on a wild pitch, a groundout scored Steele and moved Knupp to third, and Jake Redlinger tied the game with a single to center.

He reached second with two outs but was picked off second by reliver Dynas Doud. Back to that wasted opportunity thing again.

DCG got a leadoff double from Peyton against Elijah Wood in the ninth. A walk followed, then a slow chopper to second that moved the runners ahead.

With the infield in, Justin Carlyle hit a grounder to short that T.J. Rausch bobbled. He recovered the ball but threw to first base for an out instead of home, as the go-ahead run scored.

The Demons went in order in the bottom of the ninth.

"Every guy on the field played their hearts out," said Redlinger. "I couldn't be more (proud) with the way we played today."
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