Fourth-inning surge nets Juniors back-to-back RBL titles
A five-run fourth inning helped the Wayne Juniors secure their second straight Ralph Bishop League championship on Sunday as they defeated Pender 13-5 at Eaton Field in Wakefield.
Wayne had five extra-base hits in the game and appeared to have control of things early as they scored three in the bottom of the first, capped by Blake Bartos’ two-run double to left to give the Juniors the early lead.
A fielding error helped Pender score two in the third, but the Juniors bats heated up in the fourth inning as they scored five runs, all coming after the first two batters were put out.
Victor Kniesche got the big inning started with a two-out triple to left, then came home on a wild pitch to bring in the first run of the frame. Walks to Josh Lutt and Hagan Miller put two runners on, and Trevor DeBoer loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch.
The bases were unloaded five pitches later when Gunnar Jorgensen launched a 3-1 fastball that rolled to the center field wall, clearing the bases. He ended the scoring rally when he raced home on another wild pitch to make it 8-2.
Pender got three in the top of the fifth to keep it close, but Wayne put things out of reach late. Bartos scored on a wild pitch, and then Wayne ended the game on the eight-run rule with four more in the sixth, thanks to RBI singles by DeBoer, Jorgensen and Jacob Kneifl, with Jorgensen scoring on a passed ball to end the game.
Jorgensen was 3-for-4 with four RBI’s to lead the Wayne Juniors’ 13-hit attack. Reid Korth had a double and a triple, DeBoer and Bartos each had two hits and two RBI’s and Lutt, Miller and Tyrus Eischeid each scored three runs.
DeBoer was solid in going the distance for Wayne, needing just 71 pitches in six innings to throw a six-hitter, striking out nine and walking none.
The 16-2 Juniors close the regular season Tuesday at Norfolk and begin Class B Area 5 tournament play this weekend in Wahoo.