Errors and mental mistakes have too often plagued the Surrey-Our Redeemer's Christian School baseball this season, but on Friday, the Mustangs capitalized on their opponent's miscues.
Three Central McLean errors in the first three innings led to an early Surrey-ORCS lead, an advantage secure behind the arm of starter Bridger Urban. The junior tossed a complete-game two-hitter, striking out 10 in a 4-1 Mustangs win.
Surrey-ORCS coach Bruce Mack was pleased with his team's clean display in the field, committing one error.
Surrey-ORCS junior Bridger Urban threw a complete-game two-hitter Friday in a Region 6 tournament play-in game at Corbett Field, striking out 10 in a 4-1 Mustangs win over Central McLean.
Surrey-ORCS senior catcher Brendan Larson scored two of his team’s four runs.
He praised Urban as well.
"He's around the plate. He's been like that all spring," Mack said. "He came in here and threw strikes and gave us every chance to win."
The Mustangs (7-10), who finished third at last season's region tournament, will only have the weekend to enjoy Friday's win.
They'll take on top seed Velva-Drake-Anamoose, the only team still unbeaten in Region 6 play, at 1 p.m. Monday at Corbett Field. V-D-A defeated the Mustangs twice in last season's region tournament.
But results like Friday's give Surrey-ORCS confidence heading, especially because V-D-A has struggled with the Mustangs at times this season.
Surrey-ORCS led the Aggies 4-1 after two innings in Velva on May 9 before walks and errors ruined the Mustangs' run at an upset.
"We've just gotta show up to the ballpark and play," Mack said of Monday's matchup. "We're capable of sticking with anybody. We've just gotta show up, we gotta play.
"It's tournament time, and we've gotta start winning games and stringing things together."
With Urban on the mound, the Mustangs had little work in the field.
Urban struck out at least two batters in four innings.
"Some of them weren't catching up to the fastball, " Urban said, "so I took advantage of that and kept blowing it through the zone."
Urban had the comfort of an early lead following a pair of Central McLean miscues.
With the both teams still in search their first hit, Cougars sophomore starter Hunter Jacobs walked consecutive batters - juniors Jacob Burckhard and Noah Knipp - with one out in the second.
After a pair of failed bunt attempts, senior Cole Zaderaka ripped a sharp ground ball back to the Jacobs, who immediately turned toward second base for the double-play attempt.
But Jacobs' throw sailed behind shortstop Jared Mitzel and into center field, allowing Burckhard to score the game's first run for Surrey-ORCS.
A young team (one senior), the two players to record hits for the Cougars on Friday were freshman Justin Reinbold and seventh-grade leadoff man Trapper Jacobs.
"I'm pretty pleased with that," Central McLean coach Daren Kurle said. "When you're young, everything's gotta be played perfectly, and when you don't you're on the short end of the stick. But our kids played hard, and I'm proud of how they handled themselves."
The second run of the game came in the third inning.
Surrey-ORCS senior Brendan Larson led off the inning with a seeing-eye single to left field. Moments later, with junior Trever Ringoen at the plate, the right-handed Jacobs spun around for a pick-off attempt, but his throw never found his target.
The error allowed Larson to advance into scoring position with no outs. He was then brought in to score by consecutive fielder's choice plays from Ringoen and sophomore John Reiten, who claimed the RBI.
In the fifth inning, Ringoen spanked a triple into the right-center gap, scoring Larson, who had walked in the previous at-bat. Ringoen then scored on Reiten's second fielder's-choice RBI of the game to make it 4-0.
"We'll take runs any way we can get them at this point," Mack said. "It doesn't matter anymore. We just need to score."
Garrison-Max 19, Sawyer 5
In Friday's second play-in game, Garrison-Max advanced past No. 6 seed Sawyer in five innings, 19-5.
The Cossacks scored three in the first, five in the second and six in the third, putting the game at lengthy distance from a youthful Sawyer side with more eighth-graders than seniors.
Senior Reid Groninger and junior Dylan Finken both scored four runs for Garrison-Max, which advances to play Bishop Ryan 30 minutes following Monday's first semifinal contest between Surrey-ORCS and V-D-A.
Joe Mellenbruch covers high school sports and general
assignments. Follow him on Twitter @Mellenbruch_MDN.