This time, however, the Wolverines found themselves on the wrong side of a one-run game, losing 3-2.
The opportunities were there for Woodstock (5-3) to get clutch hits, but it couldn’t deliver on most of them. The Wolverines also couldn’t take advantage of five Marietta errors in the first two innings.
In the end, it was Marietta (5-2) that got the clutch hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Marcus Mitchell hit a bloop single that was just out of reach of shortstop Dalton Delay.
“They’ve been in one run games like this. We’ve been on the top end of it about 80 percent,” Woodstock coach Todd Harris said. “It’s a great percentage to be on top, but it’s going to go the other way the other times.”
The game was evenly matched. The two starting pitchers, Woodstock’s Tanner Thomson and Marietta’s Even Steele, both pitched into the sixth inning. Thomson gave up three runs on five hits, and Steele two runs on four hits.
But Woodstock just couldn’t get enough timely hits, and that proved to be the difference. The Wolverines had a great chance to take the lead in the top of the second, when Marietta made four of its five errors.
Chase Williams got the inning started with an infield single to third, and Marietta made two throwing errors on the play. Williams attempted to score from second when an errant throw from Mitchell at first base reached left field, but Trent Wildermuth retrieved the ball in time to gun him down at home plate.
Later in the inning, when there were two outs, Dakota Kinney and Delay reached base on back-to-back fielding errors by shortstop Eric Henderson, but a Will Long strikeout left them stranded.
The inning ended up haunting Woodstock because Marietta scored two runs in the bottom half on an RBI double by Mitchell and an RBI groundout by Steele.
“You know, there’s bad and then there’s real bad,” Marietta coach Chris Stafford said. “When it gets that bad, you just say, ‘Hey, we’re better than this,’ take a deep breath and relax.”
Woodstock scored both of its runs in the sixth inning to tie it up, but it could have added more. Brandon Byrd’s leadoff triple was wasted when he attempted to score on Thomson’s grounder to Steele.
The Wolverines later put runners on second and third and delivered the crucial hit when Jack Brannen crushed a two-run double to left-center field.
But it ended up not being enough.
After Mitchell accounted for the potential game-winning hit in the bottom of the sixth, Woodstock had another chance, but Marietta reliever Brooks Dechiara induced three fly-ball outs to center field.
“Obviously, you have to execute later on in the game. You have to execute pitches and you have to execute on defense,” Harris said. “But I’m proud of the way the kids played. They never gave up.”