Westwood’s Dylan Smith is tagged out at the plate by Frederica’s Carter Rowland in the first inning of Game 1 of the GISA Class AA quarterfinals on Friday. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
CAMILLA — Westwood School pitcher Collier Baggett didn’t have to seek an answer on why his Wildcats were swept in the state baseball tournament Friday afternoon.
“Errors, errors, errors,” Baggett said. “Errors killed us (Friday). I feel like we beat ourselves.”
The Wildcats’ season ended with a pair of losses to Frederica Academy in the GISA Class AA quarterfinals. Westwood dropped the first game 9-0 in an error-infested contest.
Then the Wildcats wasted a strong pitching performance from Baggett in the second game and fell 5-2.
In the two-game set, Westwood committed four errors and hit into two momentum-killing double plays, while its pitching staff combined to hit seven Frederica batters and throw five wild pitches.
In addition, a swirling wind made catching routine pop flies anything but easy.
The first inning pretty much summed up the series in Game 1 when the Wildcats dug themselves in an early 4-0 deficit behind three errors, two hit batsmen and a walk. They never seemed to recover when the Knights sent 10 batters to the plate.
Westwood’s offense started strong when Dylan Smith and Chason Worsham opened the bottom of the first with a pair of singles and TJ Robertson walked. But Frederica got a strikeout and a fly out, then the Knights cut down Smith at the plate to end any scoring chance.
The Wildcats would get just two runners in scoring position the rest of Game 1.
“We had a bad day with our at-bats,” Westwood coach Robby Bowles said. “We got down, and we could not pick ourselves back up.”
The Wildcats played better in Game 2 but still found themselves facing the same end result as the first game. Worsham started with a single, then Robertson walked before Tyler Classon’s RBI single put the Wildcats ahead 1-0.
They had a chance for more. With the bases loaded and one out, Frederica pitcher Nick Harrison got a pop fly and a 6-3 groundout to end the threat.
Baggett cruised, allowing just one single in the first two innings before the Knights scratched home two runs in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead.
The tall right-hander, though, kept Westwood in the game, pitching scoreless fourth and fifth innings before Frederica padded its lead with three runs in the sixth to make it 5-1.
But Westwood didn’t quit. With one out in the seventh, Worsham singled, stole second and took third on an error before Robertson’s RBI single made it 5-2.
After Harrison got Classon to fly out, Baggett singled before a wild pitch put runners at second and third with the tying run at the plate.
But Harrison induced a lazy pop fly to end the game.
“We definitely played better in the second game than in the first,” Bowles said. “Collier had a great outing, but our bats just didn’t come around and we couldn’t get key hits. We’re losing just two seniors off a very young team. We had a great year.”
Westwood finished with just 13 hits in the two-game series, including nine in the second game. Baggett finished 3-for-4, while Worsham and Classon each finished 2-for-4.