Matthew Etzel, Crosscutters score seven unanswered points in win over Trenton | News, Sports, Jobs
Matthew Etzel wasn’t getting the extra hits he wanted. Single infield after single infield – not a bad problem to have – he hadn’t gotten more firepower into his swings.
This was not the case Wednesday evening. The Crosscutters leader and Panola product hit a pair of triples and went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and RBIs in a 7-5 win over Trenton at Bowman Field.
“I had a little trouble seeing the higher speed,” Etzel said. “Tonight I just started to get my legs a bit more, keeping my head still, I ended up seeing the ball better and just getting the cannon on it. Good things happened.
All three of Etzel’s shots were on pitches over 95 mph. Etzel was also named Player of the Week after going 7-for-16 with a double, homer, three RBIs and three stolen bases with a .438 batting average between June 6 and June 12.
“It was nice. It definitely gave me a good boost to become player of the week, but at the end of the day I just want to win games with my team. And tonight we did that, “ Etzel said on the award.
After a one-out walk, Etzel scored one against the right wall for a triple RBI in the fifth inning. He was then doubled by second baseman Isaac Nunez, who then headed home on a wild field after smashing his way up to third.
Williamsport (7-5) dropped two runs in the second set. From there, the Crosscutters went seven unanswered runs behind hot bats and solid ground. Of the team’s seven hits, Etzel recorded three.
“Basically, I just try to stick to an approach where at the start of the count, I only swing on things that I know I can crush,” Etzel said. “Especially in countdowns too and also when I’m down with two strikes, just so I can play and play.”
Williamsport took full advantage of Trenton’s mistakes late in the fourth inning. Etzel took the lead with a hit to the center. He then advanced to second base when the pitcher tried to put him out early and the ball went past the baseman.
With Nunez next, another pass to first base sent Etzel all the way home and Nunez reached second. With one out, first baseman Lance Logsdon scored Nunez with a hit to right field to tie the game.
A hit from Daniel Harris and the defenseman’s pick moved Logsdon to third overall. Immediately after, Flood stole second base as Logsdon stole home, taking a one-run lead over the Thunder (6-6) in the process.
“We have to play the game. Their pitchers did well early on and we had to capitalize on the little things. Jesse Litsch, Head of Crosscutters, said. “Some guys had some big hits in good situations and that definitely helps the process, putting some runs on the board and coming out of some innings.”
The Thunder made noise in the second inning by starting with a line drive to right field from Ryan McCarthy (2 for 4, RBI) for a one-out double. After a walk, McCarthy stole third base and was driven home with a hit to right field by Nate Ochoa.
Back on top of command for Trenton, Mason Hammonds hit an RBI single to charge the bases before the Crosscutters came out of the inning with a flyout.
Behind Lex Garcia, the Williamsport squad completed back-to-back 5-4-3 double plays. Garcia took the win on the mound with two scoreless frames and struck out two.
“It’s something we’ve done well all year. We line up the ball pretty well,” Litsch said. “Our guys, wherever we put them, everyone has been in the infield, so the infield is pretty versatile. It has certainly been a plus on our side as far as the pitch is concerned. We did some stuff early today and it looked clean there, so it definitely went to play.”
The Crosscutters also entered the game with an MLB Draft League-leading .971 fielding percentage. Out of 379 total chances, Williamsport had committed just 11 errors. Through nine more rounds on Wednesday, the field remained sharp and error-free.
“In reality, we have done our job. The guys got to work. They’re doing what they need to do to improve and they’re out there taking ground balls every day. Litsch said. “They’re the ones doing it, we’re just the ones guiding them.”
McCarthy hit a two-out RBI single to cut the game to four runs in the top of the eighth. EJ Exposito hit a two-run homer with an outspeed of 101 mph to cut the game to two runs before an out was taken in the ninth.
With three more hits, Williamsport currently ranks second in the league in this category with five triples and a record 25 doubles.
“We swung the bats. We came over there, told them to be aggressive early on and they kind of did. Litsch said. “We got on them and tried to do the best we could and got a few hits in decent situations.”