Blue Devils go 0-2 in state baseball


The Wayne High baseball team was playing well at season’s end, but couldn’t put things together at state and ended their season Monday with a 3-1 loss to Douglas County West in the Class C State Baseball championships.

Monday’s elimination game was scoreless until the fifth when the Falcons got a two-out hit off of Adrian Contreras to take the 1-0 lead.

Wayne tied the game in the sixth when Jase Dean singled Kaleb Moormeier home after Moormeier picked up his second hit of the contest. The Falcons came back in the sixth with a pair of runs off the Blue Devil freshman and then kept Wayne off the board in the seventh to bring the Blue Devils’ 16-9 season to a disappointing end.

“We pitched and played good defense, but we just couldn’t string hits together,” coach Adam Hoffman said. “We had some chances and they put a little more pressure on us and got the big two-out hits in the fifth and sixth and we weren’t able to get ours earlier in the game. That’s just the way it works sometimes — sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. The boys can hold their heads high and be proud of what they did.”

Moormeier had two of Wayne’s four hits in the loss, with Dean and Jaxson Kneifl also adding singles.

Contreras pitched well in a losing effort, going 5 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and four walks to go with six hits and three earned runs.

Wayne got off to a quick start in Saturday’s tournament opener against top-seeded and defending champion Malcolm, but the Clippers scored all of their runs off of Wayne miscues to post an 8-2 victory.

The Blue Devils got on the board quickly in the first inning with the help of an RBI double by Devin Anderson that scored Jace Jorgensen. Kneifl later came home on a Malcolm miscue to stake the Blue Devils to a quick 2-0 lead.

That lead was short-lived, however, as Wayne’s defense committed four errors in the first inning that lead to four unearned runs for Malcolm. Malcolm scored its other runs in four of the next five innings, all the result of Wayne defensive mistakes as the Blue Devils had eight on the night.

“Defense has been something we could hang our hat on all season, and it was disappointing when it happens this time of year like that,” Hoffman said. “Our pitching was good, we just didn’t bring it all together. Sometimes it happens, but I was still proud of how they competed.”

Anderson, the senior center fielder, was 2-for-3 at the plate and made a couple of solid defensive plays to keep Wayne in the game. Contreras and Alex Rodriguez also had singles in the loss.
Gavin Redden pitched well in a losing effort, striking out five an allowing only one walk to go with six hits. Gavin Anderson pitched an inning in relief.

Hoffman said this year’s team grew quite a bit after last year’s exciting third-place state finish, and he was proud with the team’s effort overall this season.

“They really grew as a team,” he said. “By the middle of season and the end of year we figured out who we were and what it took to win games, and we played a lot of close games at the end of the year against good teams. I’m really proud of how they grew as the year went on.”