A few timely base knocks can knock a team from the postseason, and that was the case for Wetumpka Monday.
The Indians lost game three of their best-of-three series against Northridge in the first round of the Class 6A AHSAA state baseball playoffs, a 4-1 final ending the team’s 2021 season.
“We had a special year. It was a great year,” Wetumpka head coach Michael Dismukes said. “Definitely a great bunch of guys on our team. Team-first mentality, and that’s all you ask. It hurt for the guys for sure. Definitely some growing pains there. But as far as the team goes, hate it for them, but it was a special year.”
Wetumpka’s offense was stymied by soft-tossing Northridge starter Paul Reid, who threw six innings with one earned run and four strikeouts.
Douglas Johnson started for the Indians and tossed 6.2 innings with four earned runs and five fans.
The game remained scoreless through three innings before a three-run fourth for the Jaguars.
With a runner on first and two outs, they strung together four consecutive singles, the third an infield hit at Wetumpka’s shortstop that plated two. Northridge led 3-0.
“They just got the two-out hits and we didn’t,” Dismukes said.
Junior Davis Randolph doubled for the Jaguars in the fifth inning and Brady McAbee brought him home to score on after a throwing error was committed on his bunt.
The Indians got one run back on a two-out single of their own in the sixth inning, with Jaxon Shineflew batting home Caden Wooldridge, but Anthony Messina shut the door for Northridge in the seventh inning to pick up a save.
In closing, Dismukes said what stood out about this particular Wetumpka team was its sacrificial nature.
“They’re not selfish. They are selfless,” Dismukes said. “They came in, they did what we asked them to do daily, they went to work, they never complained about anything and their approach to the game is great. It’s their attitude toward each other, they play for each other.”
Outfielder Jackson Ray and first baseman Benjamin Barker are among the seniors departing for Wetumpka after this season.