T.J. Hack cruised along with plenty of run support as Three Rivers secured a 9-3 home victory over Mendon Wednesday in a St. Joseph County Tournament opening-round baseball game that also served as the Wildcats’ Senior Night.
Through 6 2/3 innings, Hack allowed only three hits, one earned run and racked up 11 strikeouts. He was relieved due to the pitch count rule by Bryce Morlan, who recorded the final out.
Wyatt Cool took the loss for the Hornets. Cool gave up 10 hits, four earned runs, and registered four strikeouts and four walks. Garlinger threw the final inning.
The Wildcats put three runs on the board in the first inning. Saw Hawkins got on with a single and scored on Austin Krawczak’s bunt. Alex Minger connected on a double that scored Krawczak, and he advanced to third on a wild pitch. Minger would later score on another wild pitch.
A three-run third inning put Three Rivers ahead 6-1. Justin Ochsenrider led off with a double to left, followed by an RBI single by Carson Charvat, who would advance to second after Zack Ludwig’s groundout to the shortstop. Hack drew a walk and Carson Charvat stole third. Ryan Levandoski was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Charvat scored on a wild pitch and Hawkins connected on a single to right that sent Levandoski home.
In the fourth inning, Ochsenrider singled on a hard groundball to centerfield. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Charvat doubled on a line drive to left field that scored Ochsenrider. Charvat swiped third base again and scored on an error by the catcher. Three Rivers went on to score one more run in the sixth inning.
Hawkins, Ochsenrider (one double) and Charvat (one double) finished with three hits apiece.
“I thought J.T. Hack pitched a great game for us tonight,” Three Rivers coach Kim Losik said. “He used his fastball and curveball effectively which is indicated by the 11 strikeouts. The past two outings have proven to us, the coaches, that J.T. is back in full form like he was his sophomore year and he will be getting more time on the mound for the county tournament as well as for the districts in late May, early June.”
In all, 10 Three Rivers seniors were honored Tuesday.
“I started nine of them and allowed them to play as a senior unit until the seventh inning when I made substitutions by underclassmen that will assume the seniors’ positions next year. These 10 seniors, Sam Hawkins, Ryan Levandoski, Austin Wright, Zack Ludwig, Austin Krawczak, Alex Minger, Justin Ochsenrider, J.T. Hack, Carson Charvat and Steven Tolfree, have exhibited every game what it means to be a part of the Three Rivers baseball program. They come to work at every practice and they work as a team during every game. I truly have been blessed as a coach to have these 10 young men on my baseball team and allowed me the opportunity to watch them mature into not only good baseball players, but more importantly, as young men. We will miss their leadership next season.”