By Bryon Besse
YORKVILLE- At times the Ottawa Pirates pitching looked shaky. There were moments when their defense was suspect. Heck there were even at bats where their star hitter looked lost at the plate. Yet, the Pirates managed to not only win Wednesday night in their opening round match up with Rochelle but win going away with a five-inning 17-6 massacre of the Hubs.
“The game was sloppy at times but we we’re able to hit up and down the lineup,” Ottawa skipper Don Heaberlin said. “Not to take anything away from Rochelle but we are going to be facing a lot tougher team on Saturday.”
Jordan Jansen took the hill for Ottawa and had innings where he dazzled (3k’s in the second inning) and innings where he struggled to retire hitters (2 hits, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 4 R in the fourth) but in the end it was the senior right-hander that earned the W giving his team a shot at a Regional Title on Saturday.
Offensively, the Pirates put up crooked numbers in three of their four innings. The first six spots in the batting order for the Pirates (Buddy Ahlstrom 3 Runs, Brazon Wheeler 3 Runs, Michael Hermosillo Run, Kyle Wahlbaum 3 Runs, Nick Harsted 3 Runs, Tabor Griglione 2 Runs) scored 15 runs in there first 18 at-bats.
Ottawa plated five runs in the bottom of the first with Jordan Jansen helping his own cause with a run scoring base on balls. Griglione followed with an RBI walk of his own to extend the lead to 2-1. Then Trager came up with a big three-RBI double to push the lead to 5-1 after one.
Wheeler added an RBI double in the second, scoring Ahlstrom (single). Jansen then doubled in Wheeler and courtesy runner Nick Harsted scored on a pass ball to make the score 9-1.
The Hubs rallied in the top of the fourth, touching Jansen for four runs but the Pirate offense answered in the home half of the inning batting around the order and scoring eight runs Trager, Wahlbaum and Wheeler all hit safely in the inning while Hermosillo doubled and tripled in the frame.
Dustin Dekreon came on in relief of Jansen to record the save. Ottawa will now take on the winner of the Morris / Yorkville game tomorrow evening on Saturday at 11am in Yorkville.