By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor
In a battle of two teams searching for their first Bay Division wins of the season, Isaac Weltlin became the ultimate X-factor on the evening.
Or perhaps more appropriately, the K-factor.
The Margaretta pitcher struck out 13 over seven innings of work and yielded just three base hits, en route to the Polar Bears’ 10-4 victory over Willard at the WHS Athletic Complex.
The MHS offense backed him with 10 hits, including six in a five-run fourth that opened a sizeable 9-3 advantage.
The Bears’ lone two errors of the game each set up or produced all of the Willard scoring on the evening, as the Flashes (0-6, 0-4) momentarily closed an early 4-0 gap to 4-3 in the third.
Spencer Parrott ended Fenwick’s early run of perfection when he reached on an infield error in the third---snapping the streak of eight in a row retired, five by strikeouts. Alec Gardner was hit by a pitch and Bryce Bailey singled to load the bases.
Willard’s biggest run-producer of late, Narcisio Resendez, came through again, drilling a bases-clearing three-run triple to deep left to get the WHS offense on the board.
From there, the only other Willard hit over the final four-plus innings came from Ashton Ames in the fourth. He led off with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Shane Durbin and scored after stealing third and seeing the catcher’s throw skip down the leftfield line.
Fenwick fanned eight of the final 12 Flashes’ hitters.
Caden Flores pitched well enough to potentially avoid any of the five Margaretta runs from scoring in the Polar Bears’ fourth. He induced a routine ground ball that Evan Mahr beat out for an infield single. Seth Gasser followed with a routine pop fly that was lost in the outfield and fell for a hit.
After a double steal plated a run and Brycen Aceto followed with a bunt single, Zach Luma’s ensuing RBI-ground-out would have potentially represented the third out.
Margaretta (4-5, 1-4) capitalized with three more singles, including run-scoring hits by Talon Kennedy and Fenwick, along with a fifth run when a double-play grounder was unable to be completed.
Alec Gardner (0-2) was the hard-luck pitcher of record on the night, allowing two runs in two innings of work. Cole Severino, Flores and Bryce Bailey also pitched for Willard (0-6, 0-4).
Kennedy, Tim Schaffer and Fenwick all had two hits for the Polar Bears.
Margaretta 18, Willard JV 8
The Flashes offense was solid with 10 hits, but a seven-run Margaretta fourth snapped a 5-5 tie and put the Polar Bears ahead for good.
Jake Cok went 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and two steals for Willard, which fell to 0-4 on the season, all in SBC Bay Division play.