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Wallace sparks Moniteau baseball playoff win

Moniteau's Dawson Wallace delivers a pitch during the Warriors’ 6-1 District 9 2A baseball playoff win Monday at Pullman Park. Justin Guido/Butler Eagle

Dawson Wallace kept the heat off. Patience took care of the rest.

Moniteau’s junior starting pitcher gave up just one run, atoned for it in the inning that followed, and went 5.2 frames on the mound in a District 9 Class 2A baseball playoff clash with visiting Cranberry Monday evening. The Warriors won the contest, 6-1, at Michelle Krill Field at Historic Pullman Park.

The Berries (7-9) plated a run in the top of the first after consecutive base knocks by Connor Morrow and Austin Shoup, then Moniteau (11-10) left the bases full in the bottom half of the same frame.

Wallace dug in in the visitors’ second, getting a groundout on his first offering of the inning, then fanning the following two challengers. He needed only nine pitches in that frame. Ian Ross reached on a throwing error to lead matters off during the Warriors’ next turn, then a two-out fielding error put runners on first and second for Wallace, whose single pushed Ross across.

“It was definitely big,” Wallace said. “Then, it’s basically a 0-0 game — fresh start. I was feeling good after that. They didn’t score, and it was big to get back to that tied game.”

Neither team got much going in the third or fourth, then Moniteau broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth. Wallace led off with a double, then got caught trying to steal third with no one out. Keagan Book then got on via another Cranberry error, Brock Matthews a bunt single, and Dawson Cook on an RBI base hit.

The Berries’ starting pitcher, Shoup, plunked James Gillen to load the bases, and Ross made him pay with a three-RBI single. Ross scored later on a wild pitch.

“We had a couple errors defensively that gave them an opportunity to extend the inning — and go from maybe scoring one or maybe not even scoring at all to putting up a pretty big number,” Cranberry coach Patrick Irwin said. “Unfortunately, that’s kind of been one of our problems this year, is that we have an inning where we just kind of take off.”

On the other side, Wallace finished with 75 pitches. He didn’t have to face any high-pressure situation during the outing.

“My off-speed was working really well,” Wallace said. “I was locating my fastball well. A lot of their hits were just getting in over the infield. They had a few hard hits in the first inning, but other than that, they didn’t really square any balls up.”

“We had a hard time getting guys in scoring position — and when we did, we just needed that one more hit to push guys across and change the complexion of the game,” Irwin said.

The Warriors advance to play No. 1 seed Redbank Valley Tuesday at Union High School.

“We started slow through the season, we heated up towards the end, and now we’re just going to keep that rolling through the playoffs,” Wallace said.

Cranberry 100 000 0 — 1 8 4

Moniteau 010 050 x — 6 7 0

W: Dawson Wallace 5.2IP (7K, 0BB). L: Austin Shoup 4.2IP (6K, 2BB).

Cranberry (7-9): Cole Findlay 1B, Connor Morrow 1B R, Austin Shoup 3B 1B RBI, Cayden Baker 2-1B, Travis Carbaugh 1B, Aiden Ward 2B.

Moniteau (11-10): Connor Ealy 1B, Dawson Wallace 2B 1B RBI, Keagan Book 1B R, Brock Matthews 1B R, Dawson Cook 1B RBI R, James Gillen R, Ian Ross 1B 3RBI 2R.

Tuesday: Moniteau vs. Redbank Valley at Union High School

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