The Wittenberg Tigers Fall Season is officially underway!
The Fall Season got underway Thursday night with the first live Tiger Up Cup draft. The two teams were drafted and named by senior members of the Tigers baseball team. Team Apache was captained by seniors Paul Stanley (OF) and Andrew Goodpaster (RHP) while the Big Red Machine was led by senior Tim Bates (1B). Draft night got underway with Team Apache winning the coin toss and winning rights to the home dugout and first overall pick. With that first overall pick of the Tiger Up Cup, Team Apache took Junior outfielder Matt Baker. The Big Red Machine followed with Sophomore catcher Patrick Kenny to complete the first of twelve rounds. The following 4 picks were: Adam Mays (C/RHP), Jace Barga (LHP/OF), Brandon Beegle (RHP), and Ryan Probst (SS) to round out the top 3 rounds.
Prior to Sunday's main event, the Tiger Up Cup, the Tigers took the field for their first official practice at midnight on Sunday morning. The annual midnight madness practice was a high-energy, up-tempo affair and an awesome environment to kick off a promising Fall. Players did not have much of a rest however as they truly had to "Tiger Up" for the afternoon Tiger Up Cup contest. A quick turnaround from the morning practice, the Tiger Up Cup game and family day event was scheduled for a 12:15 PM first pitch that afternoon. As friends, parents, and family members packed the stands at Carlton Davidson Stadium.
As the two sides took the field for the first time in front of a full house. Team Apache handed the ball to Sophomore LHP Josh Darang, while Big Red Machine gave the starting nod to Jace Barga.
After a quiet first inning, the Big Red Machine got on the board in the top of the second inning with two runs. Freshman Jordan Jolly led off with a single and was driven in on a 2 RBI single by Junior infielder Greg Vanerstrom. The lead did not last long however as Team Apache answered back in the bottom of the 3rd with 4 runs of their own. The bottom of the third started with a slew of walks as the first four batters reached base via a free pass. The fifth batter of the inning Justin Bargar proved pivotal as his 2 RBI double gave Team Apache the lead for good. Team Apache added another run in the bottom of the fourth, Paul Stanley and Mike Martin led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Stanley came around to score on an error. Team Apache had another big inning in the bottom of the 6th when they sent ten men to the plate. The inning kicked off with singles by Ryan Williams and Justin Bargar. After a wild pitch, Williams scored on a sacrifice fly by first overall pick Matt Baker. A couple of walks and an RBI single by Mike Martin led to another 4 runs on the board for Team Apache. Team Apache pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to get to their final tally of 11 on a pair of singles by freshmen Mason Davis and David Hamrick and an error on a ball hit by sophomore Chase Carpenter plated both runs. On the defensive side of the ball, Team Apache put it all together in convincing fashion. The pitching staff in relief of Barga threw 7 innings of 2 hit baseball and struck out 9 over that span.
The difference in the game came on the defensive side of the ball. The Big Red Machine was hampered by 4 errors, 2 wild pitches and a dozen walks from the pitching staff. Team Apache played a brilliant defensive game with zero errors and only 2 walks while capitalizing on the mistakes that plagued the Big Red Machine.
An annual tradition at the end of the cup is the awards ceremony where the top pitcher and the player of the game are honored. The recipients of the two awards, as well as the team captain(s) get their name engraved on the Tiger Up Cup trophy, an annual tradition, and honor. This year's player of the game was sophomore outfielder Justin Bargar from Team Apache. His 2 run double in the bottom of the third put Team Apache ahead for good. His final line was 2-3 with a double, one run scored and 2 RBI's.
The pitcher of the game was freshman RHP Parker Tietz from Team Apache. Parker threw one masterful inning where he struck out all 3 batters he faced on 10 total pitches.
- Freshman Rising – Mike Martin (LHP/OF) went 2-2 with 2 singles and a walk while adding a 1-2-3 inning on the mound with 1 K.
- Captain Power – Paul Stanley also went 2-2 with a 2B, BB and an RBI in the contest.
- Complete Staff Effort – The Team Apache pitching staff had a combined line of 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 14 K, and 2 BB.
- Family Is Everything – Over 200 parents and family members filled the seats at Carleton-Davidson stadium and made the day truly awesome. A special thank you to all the parents and family who helped make Sunday possible