The Wolverines looked to be cruising in the fifth inning, up 6-1 and not being challenged throughout the first four frames. That changed in the bottom of the fifth, as Young scored seven runs, aided by three Simeon errors and two hit batsmen.
“Our defense let us down,’’ said Simeon coach Leroy Franklin. “We have to play better defense, we can’t be dropping balls and such. We just need to play better defense. That’s all.’’
Simeon (18-2, 9-1 Jackie Robinson South) got off to a hot start picking up two runs in the first inning, when Western Illinois bound Quintin Richardson brought home Corey Ray on a triple and catcher Blake Hickman flied out to right field to score Richardson.
The visitors added two more runs in the third. Ray led off the inning with a double, followed by Richardson reaching on an error by the second baseman, a play that moved each batter over an extra base. Ray scored when Shane Brown singled and Richardson added his second run of the game when Malik Simmons knocked out a single as well.
But after scoring two more to go up 6-1, the defense let the Wolverines down. The first four Dolphin hitters reached base without getting a hit (two errors, two hit batsmen) and each scored before Simeon was even able to record the first out of the inning. Andy Garcia, Mark Brown and Danny Barnett each had RBI’s in the frame that gave the home team its first lead at 8-6.
Simeon took the lead back though, as the first three batters in the top of the sixth reached base on walks and two were brought home by a Richardson single. Ray scored the game’s winning run in that sixth frame, when he scored on an error by the Young second baseman.
Richardson, who would finish the day 3-for-3, had three runs batted in and scored all four times he was on base.
“It was nice to finally beat them,’’ said Richardson. “We haven’t beaten them since I’ve been here and I’m a senior.’’
Young (11-14, 6-4) was led by Garcia and Brown, each of whom had two hits apiece.
BY MICHAEL WOJTYCHIW May 4, 2011