After opening the season with eight consecutive wins, the Wayzata High baseball team finally lost a game Saturday, May 1.
As the new month began, the Trojans dropped a 5-1 decision to non-conference opponent St. Louis Park in a noon game. “Park threw strikes and played clean,” Wayzata head coach Bobby DeWitt said. “And we made some mistakes.”
Given the competitive nature of Minnesota high school baseball, a perfect season is a longshot even for a team as good as Wayzata. The Trojans had been winning close games prior to bowing to Park. Leading up to Saturday’s game, they had edged Chaska 2-1 and topped Hopkins 5-4 earlier in the week.
“We have had different guys coming through in the clutch,” coach DeWitt said. “We go into every game trying to focus on good at-bats.”
Wayzata has had consistent production from the top of the order with lead-off man Joey Grochala hitting .345 and Nick Gebhart following in the No. 2 spot with a .393 average. Evan Pittman, Nick Argento, Drew Berkland and Logan Fragomeni follow in the middle of the batting order, and the bottom of the order has been able to produce, as well.
The Trojans’ hitting cooled off a little in the St. Louis Park game. Gebhart had two hits and the only RBI. Grochala had a hit and scored the Trojans’ run. Fragomeni and Austin Bernard added hits.
Wayzata’s win over Hopkins the night before the Park game ended in the bottom of the ninth when the Royals made an error on an infield popup. The Trojans were held down for five innings by Hopkins pitcher Ryan McGie, but in the bottom of the sixth inning the Trojans scored four runs to tie the score.
Gebhart led the Trojans with two hits and two runs scored. Alex Wain also had two hits, while Grochala, Pittman and Argento each had one. Wayzata used five pitchers with Schlecht recording the win in relief by striking out four hitters.
“It was an unfortunate way for Hopkins to lose,” DeWitt said. “The game was a struggle the whole way.”
The same could be said of Wayzata’s 2-1 win at Chaska April 26. Wayzata pitchers Sam Schlecht and Braxton Greenberg combined for a great performance. Schlecht went the first five innings, allowing two hits and one run while striking out eight. Greenberg went the last two innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. Two Chaska pitchers limited the Trojans to one hit, an RBI single Pittman. Argento had the other Trojan RBI.
In another game last week, Wayzata romped to a 9-2 victory over Eden Prairie. Grochala and Gebhart each had two of Wayzata’s 11 hits. Gebhart had three RBIs and Berkland added two. Fragomeni needed only 99 pitches for a complete game on the mound. He allowed five hits and struck out seven hitters. Sixty-six of his 99 pitches were strikes.
Wayzata’s schedule continues this week with a 4:30 p.m. Lake Conference game Friday, May 7, at St. Michael-Albertville. At noon on Saturday, May 8, the Trojans have a non-conference date with Armstrong at the Falcons’ home park. Lake Conference action resumes at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 10, with the Trojans playing Minnetonka at Minnetonka High’s Veterans Field.
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