After a first round bye, the Whitehall baseball team dropped their sectional quarterfinal game against Galway 8-1, under the lights on Friday night.
The Railroaders struck first, when in the bottom of the second inning a pop fly was misplayed by the Eagles in left field, scoring Seth Martindale who had doubled earlier that inning.
Galway wasted no time countering, with two runs of their own amidst a third inning full of wild pitches, pass balls and errors in the field.
Down a run in the bottom half of the third inning, Whitehall was knocking on the door with a runner on second and nobody out. The Railroaders made some solid contact at the plate, but hit directly to the Galway fielders, as Galway‘s pitcher was able to get out of the jam.
“We actually hit the ball, really hard early, but right at them,” Railroaders Head Coach, Jason Hoagland said, “probably four or five good shots, right at them.”
Whitehall’s starting pitcher, Christian Poczobut was great through four innings, however he saw his night on the mound come to an end in the fifth inning, when he loaded the bases.
The fifth inning would effectively serve as the game’s turning point, as the Eagles pounced on the bases loaded opportunity. A few miscues by the Railroaders and an attacking mentality from the Eagles shifted momentum in Galway’s direction.
“They scored six runs in that fifth inning, with no balls leaving the infield” added Hoagland, “Three walks, a few infield singles and some errors really hurt us.”
Despite making some solid contact at the plate early, it seemed that every time Whitehall gained some momentum, an unforced mistake, either in the form of a walk or an error would stymie them.
“We walked way too many guys today,” said Hoagland, “anytime you walk two guys per inning, one or two singles can change the game.”
Galway’s starter was stellar on the mound for six full innings and then their closer came in and sealed the deal, by making quick work of Whitehall in the seventh.
Ultimately Whitehall’s sectional woes of recent seasons continued, but that does not take away from the quality, 12-1 season that the Railroaders had.