Weishuhn, No. 14 Hawks Stay Red-Hot to Claim Share of District Title
WALL, TX-- During Senior Day, the 14th-ranked Wall Hawks used their scorching hot bats to down TLCA 12-1 in six innings and claim a share of the District 4-3A Championship.
"Nothing can really explain [the feeling]," said senior Dryden Virden. "We're one step closer to an [outright] district title. We're one step closer to playoffs. We're closer to a State Championship. It's been fun, four years playing at this field. Baseball is the greatest game ever."
The Hawks trailed 1-0 to TLCA after Cody Zapata came home to score on a wild pitch by senior pitcher Mark Nikolauk in the top of the first inning. The senior left-hander settled down after that and struck out the side, all three on filthy curveballs.
"I've told Mark all year that he has good stuff," Schneirs said of his southpaw. "He tends at times to be wild and sometimes doesn't trust what he's got. He makes good pitches. He strikes guys out. I felt, as the game went on, he adjusted well and eliminated those walks."
The lefty finished with six complete innings where he allowed the lone run on four hits with nine strikeouts to get the winning decision
After that, the Hawks utilized every bat in their order to post 12 unanswered runs. Every batter reached base in some capacity at least once.
"Having a one-through-nine lineup that can hit the ball anywhere they want to, at any given time, helps a lot," Virden said. "There's not a weak spot in this lineup and you can trust them day in and day out."
Caleb Heuertz tied the game on a sac-fly from Virden in the bottom of the first before the speedy Brock Rosenquist came home to give Wall the lead after an errant throw down to third base skipped into left field.
Heading up the Hawk's offensive onslaught was junior Gage Weishuhn. The junior went 3-for-3 at the plate with two home runs, his second consecutive game with a home run, four RBIs and a pair of runs scored.
"Gage has always had a pretty good swing," said Wall Head Coach Jason Schneirs. "He stays short to the baseball and, most of the time, he barrels it up. We're starting to see that he's coming around. Even when he gets tough pitches, he puts the bat on the ball and eliminates strikeouts...That's exactly what I ask of him in the five hole. He's got to protect Dryden. We'll get to the playoffs and teams aren't going to throw or pitch close to Dryden. They're going to make someone else beat them. Gage is going to be that guy."
Virden also did well at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance where he tallied three RBIs and a pair of runs scored for the Hawks.
Weishuhn's second bomb of the day came with the Hawks leading 10-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. The junior turned a 3-1 pitch into a no-doubter over the center field wall to end the game via the run-rule.
Nathan Tapia started the game for the Eagles, but could not past the fourth inning and was relieved after three-and-two-thirds innings where he allowed eight runs on eight hits with just one strikeout to get the loss.
The Eagles were able to muster up just those four hits in 20 at-bats and stranded six runners.
The Hawks (21-5-1, 8-1) will travel to Grape Creek on Tuesday, April 24, to conclude the regular season at 4 p.m. needing a win or a Reagan County loss to clinch the outright district title. TLCA (12-12, 3-6) hosts Reagan County on the same day at 4 p.m. needing a win to clinch their first ever playoff appearance.
A TLCA loss and a Sonora (6-9, 3-6) win on Tuesday would send Sonora to the playoffs and TLCA home. Losses by both teams would force a one-game playoff to see who would take the fourth place spot for District 4-3A in the playoffs.