As the infield pop fly began to fall into the glove of first baseman Seth Johnson, you could tell something special was happening at the Wetumpka baseball field Friday afternoon.
Everyone at the stadium could hear right fielder Trey Jones yell those words as the final out of Wetumpka’s 6-1 win over Stanhope Elmore was recorded. The victory finished off an undefeated campaign for the Indians in Class 6A Area 5 and clinched the program’s first area title since 2008.
“That is our goal every year,” Wetumpka coach Michael Dismukes said. “You have to do that to give yourself that home-field advantage in the first round and give yourself a chance to make a run. These guys embraced that challenge all year.”
Wetumpka (23-11, 4-0) got the weekend started with a 4-3 win at Stanhope on Thursday night. Johnson pitched six innings for the win before Mason Elmore came in for the save in the final inning to shut down the Mustangs in a bases loaded jam.
In the opener, Stanhope (8-21) finished with six errors and all four runs were unearned. Trey Dunn pitched a complete game and allowed only five hits but it was not enough as Wetumpka moved one win closer to an area championship.
Elmore returned to the mound for the series finale and had some issues with control early in the game. He walked four batters and hit two others in the first three innings but the Mustangs were held hitless and could not take advantage of those opportunities.
“They could sense those missed opportunities,” Stanhope coach Wes Dunsieth said. “We try to keep them up but it is what it is. You have tip you cap to Elmore because he kept us off balance and did his job.”
Wetumpka took the lead on an RBI single from Noah Jones in the second inning. The Indians extended that lead with RBI doubles from Johnson and Kyle Morrison in the third which allowed Elmore to settle down on the mound.
Stanhope recorded just three hits in the game, two of them coming in the seventh inning. The Mustangs scored their only run of the game on an RBI double by Cody Freeman with one out in the final frame.
“Defensively, we were better and pitching was fine,” Dunsieth said. “We just couldn’t hit the ball. We never got that big hit with runners on base and didn’t take advantage of those opportunities. That’s the difference.”
Elmore was held hitless at the plate but did walk once and came around to score in the fifth inning to give himself some extra run support. He finished out the complete game while striking out seven and walking four batters.
“He was excited and got a little too quick early,” Dismukes said. “I just told him to settle down and go pitch. He’s a senior and he hasn’t been on this stage very often. We knew nerves could be a problem but he really settled down and kept them off balance.”
Trey Jones and Noah Jones led the Wetumpka offense with two hits each. Morrison had two RBIs for the Indians.
“We haven’t done this in 10 years,” Trey Jones said. “It’s been awhile so it’s great to have this young team come out and win the area in my last year.”
When the game went final, the on-field celebrations ensued, including a Gatorade bath for Dismukes. Trey Jones, who will be playing football at Central Michigan after graduation, knew he wanted a special ending to his rivalry series across all sports with Stanhope.
“Obviously, coming from football season and losing to Stanhope in that crazy ending, this feels great,” Jones said. “Getting the revenge here for the area championship is great.”
While Wetumpka entered the series as the favorites, Dismukes said it was a good way to prepare for the postseason. The Indians know they have to win two games out of every series to keep moving forward and it started against Stanhope.
“The mindset is the team that plays the best wins,” Dismukes said. “You have to throw the records out the window and go play baseball. They competed for 14 innings over two days and I’m so proud of this bunch.”