RICHLAND — Liberty Christian’s Brandon Peterson struck out 14 batters and scattered four hits over seven innings Tuesday to lead the Patriots to a 6-1 victory over Touchet High School in a loser-out District 9 baseball playoff game.
“Peterson came with it, he was on his money, he was pitching strikes,” Touchet coach Tim McKeown said. “He ended up with 14 strikeouts in the game and that just tells you how the momentum went.
“I think the name of the game is that you need to put the bat on the ball, and we didn’t do that,” McKeown said. “Not that they weren’t battling — I don’t think one kid went down looking at a pitch. They were all swinging, but they just werent making contact.”
The Indians graduate five seniors (DH Nate Ortiz, 1B Jose Martinez, 3B Octavio Preciado, SS/P Cori Ochoa and OF Jaime Martinez) and finish the season at 4-5 in Southeast 1B play and 11-9 overall.
The Patriots scored five runs off Touchet starter Damian Goucher, who gave up three hits, three walks and struck out one batter in three innings before being relieved.
“He just wasn’t getting the calls,” McKeown said of Goucher’s outing. “They (Goucher’s pitches) were right on the plate, but you have to adjust to the umpire. Damian did a good job, he was hitting the marks, he just wasn’t getting the calls, and I had to pull him in the third.
“Damian is a fighter and I thought he was doing a great job, he just wasn’t getting the calls,” McKeown said. “Damian will be back next year.”
Liberty Christian held a 5-0 lead before Touchet scored its lone run in the fourth.
Cori Ochoa, who ended up replacing Goucher on the mound, hit into an error at third base and reached first safely. He stole second and third and Goucher hit a single to left center field to bring him home.
“He’s a pretty gutsy little kid,” McKeown said of Ochoa. “He gets on base and tries to make things happen. Down 5-0, I gave him the green light. He had to take some gambles but he did a good job.”
Touchet lost both league games to Liberty Christian this season but picked a up a non-counting 10-0 victory over the Patriots on April 30th.
McKeown, who is in his first year of coaching the Indians after replacing long-time coach Wayne Dickey, said his team battled hard, but that there were things they could learn from.
“They never gave up,” McKeown said of his squad. “They’re a really good bunch of kids and every game they didn’t back down, but sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be. Me, my first year at the high school level, I make mistkes too, but hopefully we can learn from them.”
Liberty Christian 6, Touchet 1
Touchet 000 100 0 — 1 4 2
LC 230 001 X — 6 6 1
Goucher, Ochoa (3) and McKeown. Peterson and Godwin.
Hits — Touchet: E. Martinez, Ortiz, Jo. Martinez, Goucher. LC: Godwin 2, Peterson 2, Lindquist, Won.