Whether it is a double overtime game against Gladwin in football or trailing Meridian by three with 1.6 seconds left in the opening round of the basketball tournament, this group of Beavers seems to handle pressure well. So it should be no surprise that they were able to score late to defeat Farwell and Clare in the district round of the baseball playoffs.
Carson Oldani and Logan Wunderlich of Farwell locked up in a pitchers duel last Tuesday in the opening round of the state baseball tournament. Oldani threw a shutout while giving up only three hits and striking out seven. Wunderlich was almost equally as sharp for the Eagles. He struck out 11 Beaverton batters in a six hit performance. With the game tied 0-0 going into the bottom of the sixth
See Beavers Baseball, page B-6
the Beavers finally broke through with two runs.
Mike Hartwell got things started with a one out single. Trent Reed followed with a single, putting runners on first and second for Mitchell Hall. Hall tripled to left field driving in both Beaverton runners for a 2-0 lead. Wunderlich got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts, but the damage was done. Oldani retired the next three batters and the Beavers had a 2-0 win.
Oldani and Hartwell had two hits each for Beaverton. Hall and Reed had the other hits including the game winner by Hall.
The Beavers had a much easier time with Meridian in the second round. They scored three runs in each of the first two innings and four more in the fourth to take a 10-0 lead. Trent Reed and Brayde Keeley combined for a two hit shutout in the mercy rule shortened game. Reed struck out six in his three innings on the mound. Keeley struck out four over two innings.
Beaverton collected 10 hits in the game. Reed had three including a homerun. Keeley and Cameron Mishler had two hits each.
Clare defeated Pinconning 3-0 in the other district semifinal setting up the third meeting of the season between the teams. Beaverton had won both previous games. Clare put four of its first five batters on base and took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Beavers responded in there half of the inning. Oldani led off with a double. Hartwell followed with a double of his own driving in Oldani. Reed, the next batter hit his seventh homerun of the season to tie the game 3-3.
After trading runs for the next several innings the teams were tied 7-7 after seven innings. After a one out single in the top of the eighth inning the Pioneers tried to play small ball and manufacture a run. The next batter bunted, but catcher Mike Hartwell was quick out of the box and threw out the lead runner at second. The next batter singled giving Clare runners at the corners with two outs. Clare tried a squeeze bunt and when the batter failed to make contact the runner was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out ending the threat.
Hartwell led off the eighth and reached base on an error. Reed followed with a single moving Hartwell to third. Hall then walked loading the bases with no outs. After a strikeout and pop out it looked like Clare might get out of the jam, but the next batter, Alex Pahl hit a sharp ground ball past the shortstop for a single driving in Hartwell with the winning run. With the 8-7 victory the Beavers advance to play Oscoda in the regionals on Wednesday back at Meridian High School.
Reed had three of the Beavers 10 hits. He also had four RBIs. Pahl had two hits and two RBIs. Oldani started on the mound and gave way to Reed in the fifth inning who went the rest of the way and got the win in relief.