SPORTS: Wilder Baseball still alive and kicking after another loss in World Series

WEIMAR, Texas — One bad inning in scorching heat and humidity put Wilder Baseball’s back to the wall in World Series action Monday.

It’s not as bad as it looks, though, because a win today should put Wilder into the championship bracket, which starts Thursday.

Wilder now is 1-2 in pool play after losing 9-1 to Mid-County, Texas (2-0) in 100-degree early afternoon Texas heat at the 2012 Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 World Series.

“We’re doing OK,” Wilder manager Rob Merritt said.

“If we win [today], we should [advance in the tournament].”

All it took was one defensively sloppy inning and a few key hits by Mid-County to make Monday’s game ugly.

The North Olympic Peninsula team was breezing along 1-0 through the first four innings as starting pitcher George Marinan gave up just two hits at that point.

The pitcher from Kingston even struck out Mid-County’s star player, Zach Drouillard — who is headed to Division I Texas State — in the first inning.

Marinan stopped a potential rally by giving up a first-at-bat double in the fourth but pitched out of a jam, leaving the runner on third.

“George actually pitched a pretty good game,” Merritt said. “It looks a lot worse than it was.”

But Wilder gave up nines runs in the bottom of the fifth when a couple of throwing mistakes opened the gates for Mid-County.

It all started unraveling when Marinan hit the first batter (“It was ruled a single but it was a hit batter,” Merritt said), and the runner made it to second on an errant Wilder throw into center field.

The next batter bunted and ended on second base when Marinan threw the ball past first base.

“If we would have done our job [defensively], we could have gotten out of the inning,” Merritt said.

“We just didn’t do our job.”

Mid-County did end up hitting three doubles in the inning and Drouillard got his revenge by capping the rally with a two-run homer.

Wilder, though, still has a shot to advance to championship play with one more pool game scheduled.

The Pacific Northwest regional champions will battle Eagle Pass, Texas (0-2), today at 2:30 p.m. PDT.

Eagle Pass is the South Texas state champion.

A win today would give Wilder a 2-2 record and a shot at third place in the National Division, good enough for a berth in the single-elimination championship bracket.

That’s because Wilder’s competition for that No. 3 berth is 1-2 Lansing, Ill., that Wilder beat 7-6 on Saturday.

Cape Cod, Mass., and Mid-County, both 2-0 each, are in line for the National Division’s top two spots.

Wilder has a bye Wednesday and could use it after playing three straight games in 95-degree plus temperatures, including triple digits Monday, in the World Series.

It is expected to be even hotter in today’s late-afternoon game, 4:30 p.m. start Weimar time.

Wilder went ahead of Mid-County by scoring a run in the top of the first inning.

Lead-off batter Justin Straight singled, moved ot second on a sacrifice bunt by Marcus Konopaski and then stole third.

Straight came home on Marinan’s RBI-single.

Easton Napiontek, who was named Wilder’s player of the game for the third straight time, went 2 for 3 at the plate, and he had a diving catch in left-center field.

Marinan also went 2 for 3 in the game.

Cape Cod, the team that nipped Wilder 3-1 on Sunday, remained undefeated at the tournament by pounding Lansing 12-7 in Monday’s first game.

Cape Cod was ahead 12-2 before Lansing scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Lansing shut out Eagle Pass 3-0 on Sunday in a bid to stay out of the National Division cellar.

In the other division game, Mid-County beat fellow Texas team Eagle Pass 5-1 on Sunday.

See complete tourney scores, through Monday afternoon, in Scoreboard on Page B2.

Pool Play

Mid-County (2-0) 9, Wilder (1-2) 1

Wilder 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 ­— 1 5 2

Mid-County 0 0 0 0 9 0 x — 9 11 1

WP- Zach Smith; LP- George Marinan (3-2)

Pitching Statistics

Wilder: George Marinan 4 IP; Chase Jangula 0 IP; Jake Hudson 2 IP.

Hitting Statistics

Wilder: Easton Napiontek 2-3; George Marinan 2-3, RBI.

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