Deon Schlesser pitched as if he wanted to get out of the rain. His Aberdeen teammates, meanwhile, showered runs on River Ridge.
Schlesser allowed only two baserunners in a five-inning mound stint as the Bobcats thumped River Ridge, 9-1, in an Evergreen 2A Conference baseball game played in a light rain Tuesday at Pioneer Park’s Ken Waite Field.
The victory was critical for the Bobcats (4-9, 4-10), who are battling the Hawks (3-9, 3-10), Black Hills and Capital for the league’s final two district berths.
“We hold our own (fate) now,” AHS coach Shon Schreiber noted. “If we can sneak out wins here and there, we can get that last playoff spot.”
If Schreiber’s game plan was for his pitchers to throw strikes, they succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
Schlesser, who had worked two innings in relief during Monday’s loss to Capital, needed only 42 pitches — 30 of them strikes — to complete his five innings on the mound Tuesday. Twice, he retired the side in order on only six pitches.
“He threw really well,” Schreiber noted.
Freshman Grant Larson also did not allow a walk in completing the four-hitter. He and Schlesser were aided by errorless defense behind them.
Although assisted considerably by seven walks and five Hawk errors, the Bobcats actually made better contact than their nine-hit total would suggest. Even their outs tended to be on well-struck balls.
Jordon Logan led the Aberdeen attack with three hits and two RBIs. Schlesser and Addam Follett added two hits apiece.
The Bobcats led from the outset. Schlesser’s one-out single in the first scored Cole Edwards, who had drawn a leadoff walk and moved up on Tyler Ames’ sacrifice bunt.
Follett singled in the second inning and scored when River Ridge starting pitcher Jacob Van Dormolen was guilty of two errant pickoff throws.
Logan’s two-run single was the only hit in a four-run fourth inning that broke the game open. That hit was sandwiched among three walks, a hit batter, two errors and Erikk Machowek’s sacrifice fly.
Schlesser, meanwhile, was wasting little time in mowing down River Ridge hitters. He retired the first 10 Hawks in order — three of them on the first pitch.
Tyler Ostling broke up the perfect game with a one-out single to right field in the fourth, only to be immediately erased when Elijah Camacho grounded the next pitch into a double play turned by Edwards, Ames and Logan.
Third baseman Chase Johnson turned in a couple of fine fielding plays for the Bobcats.
Weather permitting, the same two teams are slated to meet again today at Lacey.
River Ridge 000 010 0 — 1 4 5
Aberdeen 110 403 x — 9 9 0
Van Dormolen, Murphy (4) and Bache; Schlesser, Larson (6) and Bowley.
RBI: River Ridge — Van Dormolen. Aberdeen — Logan 2, Edwards, Schlesser, Machowek, Follett, Bowley. Three hits: Aberdeen — Logan. Two hits: Aberdeen — Schlesser, Follett.
Winning pitcher — Schlesser (walked none; struck out two). Losing pitcher — Van Dormolen (walked five; struck out one).