WELLINGTON — What a difference 24 hours can make.
After getting mercy-ruled by Wellington on its home field Monday, Black River returned the favor on Tuesday with an 8-2 win over the Dukes a Patriot Athletic Conference game at Wellington Community Park.
Black River’s Tyler Sexton (3-0) pitched his third complete game in a row, allowing two runs — one earned — while striking out five.
“It’s all placement,” said Sexton, who threw back-to-back two-hitters in his previous two starts. “I don’t throw very hard. I could probably hit low 80s, but if I could place my pitches I’ll be alright. My curve ball is my money pitch. I could place that pretty much anywhere I want. It keeps the batters off guard. They don’t know when it’s coming and they don’t know where it’s going.”
Sexton also helped his own cause, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored. His infield RBI single scored the second run of the game, while Glen Crabtree brought in the game’s first run on an RBI single.
He added a two-run single in the third inning, while Sean Holly (RBI single) and Derek Hawley (RBI groundout) also helped give Black River (9-3, 5-2) a four-run lead.
“Hitting and pitching was the difference today,” Sexton said. “On Monday, our pitching struggled, we started making errors, and we didn’t hit.”
Sexton battled through windy conditions and had to deal with his hat blowing off after nearly every pitch. He said it made him a little aggravated, but once he was given the lead, he overcame it and was able to find his groove. He allowed just two hits over the last four innings.
“We may have taken them a little bit lightly on Monday,” Black River coach Dan Kopronica said. “These guys wanted this win. Obviously, we got thumped on Monday. I told the guys ‘that was 24 hours ago, that game’s over’ and a lot of times people say forget about that one. I told them to not forget about it, and remember how it feels and come out and play your kind of baseball.
“The character of this team is showing when they get out here after a thumping one night and come out the very next day and play good baseball.”
Wellington was able to answer in the first inning after a Nick Carevic’s RBI single brought in Daryn Broadwater, but Kevin Scott grounded out to strand a pair of runners on.
“We were expecting to see (Sexton) Monday, but we were surprised we didn’t,” Wellington coach Roger Sasack said. “He did a good job of keeping us off balance. He stayed down in the strike zone. He mixed in his curve ball pretty well. I would’ve liked for us to try and work deeper in the counts and get his pitch count up there a little bit.”
Wellington scored its other run in the third inning on a Sam Echstenkamper RBI single, but once again was halted, leaving the bases loaded.
Andrew Vaughn and Crabtree both hit solo home runs — their first of the year — in the sixth inning off relief pitcher Kevin Scott.
Crabtree, who went 0-for-3 on Monday, finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
“I took Monday’s loss pretty hard,” Crabtree said. “I was in the cages for two hours after the game. I was pretty mad. We took them too lightly Monday. Today we were focused.”
Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.