A tale of two teams Washburn starts week sizzling, ends fizzling
By Robyn Rohde, BHG News Service
One team to take the American Legion field for coach Kip Erickson this week, hit the blazes out of the ball to leave the field with four impressive wins to move into the runner-up spot in the Section 8 standings. The other team that took the field struggled to string hits together, had errors in the field and walked way too many batters. Erickson couldn’t have known the switch was coming as Washburn swept Hettinger and Dunn County to move their record to 9-1, but Monday night Post 12 faltered as the Mandan A’s stayed undefeated in the section. Washburn’s troubles began in the first inning of Monday’s game. Washburn arrived over an hour early for the contest because of some scheduling confusion. But once the bats started cracking, Mitch Wachendorf found himself on second base. Unfortunately he was left stranded and it would take six innings before Post 12 had a runner in scoring position again. In the bottom of the inning, Charlie Retterath took control of the mound but the home plate umpire clearly had control of the strike zone. With several ball calls for tosses below the batter’s waistline, Retterath was forced to work the ball even lower. In the process he walked the games first three batters. "When the kids have to learn to adjust like that, it left him putting a couple straight down the middle. Of course Mandan hit those, but what do you expect when a strike isn’t a pitch below the waist?" Erickson questioned.