After one doubleheader’s worth of beautiful spring weather this week, Wednesday’s schedule was back to the usual for the Manhattan High baseball team.
With Derby and Wichita East in town for a baseball triangular, only two of the three scheduled games were played because of poor weather conditions. Manhattan beat Derby 10-0 in the first game, with Wichita East beating Derby 16-1 in the second game. The third game between Wichita East and Manhattan was dropped and will not be made up.
Cold temperatures and blustery winds, paired with rain in the forecast, wound up being the deciding factor, despite the schedule change that moved each of the three scheduled game’s start times up by more than two hours.
For MHS, playing two days after getting swept by Seaman was a nice opportunity to bounce back. The Indians did just that, with starter Henry de Noble pitching five innings of one-hit ball and the defense playing error free while the Indians’ offense pounded out 12 hits in the run-rule shortened win.
“It always starts with energy and pitching, and tonight, we had both,” MHS coach Don Hess said. “Henry went out and gave us a chance to score early and was very effective the whole game. We’re real proud of him. But at the same time, we played with a little more pep in our step and a little sense of urgency, and we had contributions up and down the lineup and our defense backed him up real well.”
Derby starter Garrett Rankin was charged with nine runs and 11 of Manhattan’s hits. Brock Sexton came on in relief in the fifth needing a scoreless inning to avoid the 10-after-five run-rule. He got two outs, but two passed balls allowed Bret Fehr to get into scoring position, and Jake Priddle’s high bouncer to third base forced an errant throw that was much too tall for Derby’s first baseman, ending the game on a walkoff error.
Hess said the hitting improved Wednesday, but could still be better.
“We probably weren’t great-great, but everybody contributed something, which is what we need to be successful,” he said. “We did a good job of scoring guys from third base with less than two outs and putting good swings on balls, so all in all it was a good bounce-back effort.”
Manhattan got four runs in the first inning, with Fehr leading off with an infield single and two walks loading the bases. Priddle responded with a two-RBI single, with Josh Mullin’s groundout scoring another and Kellen Myers driving in the fourth with a single.
From there, the Indians slowly chipped away, starting the second and third innings with leadoff doubles and scoring a run in every inning to build their lead.
In the end, it didn’t matter, as de Noble was sharp from start to finish, allowing just one hit and just four total baserunners, none of which made it past second base. The junior also recorded five strikeouts.
Derby’s three errors proved costly, while Manhattan’s solid defense kept the Panthers from having a chance.
“It was clean,” he said. “It was a quick game, Henry had a hit batter and a couple walks in there, but we made the routine plays, we made them put the ball in play and were very efficient. I think the guys really enjoyed that brand of baseball.”