Charlotte scored two runs in the first inning and one in the second, and then hung on for a 3-0 win over Potterville in its Capital Diamond Classic quarterfinal game Wednesday night at Kircher/Municipal Park.
After making the Diamond Classic field for the fourth consecutive season, and going one-and-done in the first three, Charlotte coach Bill Whitely said that he was happiest for his seniors.
“We have three or four seniors who have been on varsity for four years who have been in the Diamond Classic every year but they never got a win,” Whitely said. “This is huge.”
Bailey Silvas picked up the win on the mound for Charlotte, giving up three hits and striking out eight Potterville hitters in the complete-game shutout.
Silvas also drove in one of his team’s two first-inning runs on an RBI single that plated Matt Donley. Ian Williamson scored the other run on a sacrifice fly by Chad McClintock.
Charlotte added another run in the second when Ethan LaMacchia led off with a single, stole second, and then scored all the way from second on an infield hit by Donley.
Potterville pitcher Sam Traver settled down from there, giving up just one hit the rest of the way and retiring the last 11 Oriole hitters he faced.
“I’m really proud of our guys. They came out here and played tough,” Potterville coach Lance Beasley said. “We’re one of the smaller schools competing, so it’s a real honor just to be out here as one of the 10 best teams in the area.”
The Vikings (18-6) threatened to score in the bottom of the sixth, in which the first three batters got on base, but the rally was killed on a memorable play by Charlotte catcher Austin Schwenson.
With runners on first and second and one out, Schwenson snagged Marcus Traver’s attempted bunt out of the air on a diving catch with his bare hand, then got up and doubled off Dylan Pitcher, who had wandered a little too far off second base for a 2-6 double play.
“It was just hanging in the air, and I went after it,” Schwenson said. “I couldn’t have got to it (with the glove). My shortstop was calling for the ball at second, and I just threw it down to him for the out.”
With the win, the Orioles (19-6) advance to a semifinal matchup on June 2 with the winner of today’s 7:30 p.m. quarterfinal at Cooley Law School Stadium between CAAC Gold rival Eaton Rapids and East Lansing.
After his first Classic win in four tries, Silvas said that he is confident that his team can advance even further in this year’s tournament.
“It doesn’t matter. We feel like with either team we can come out and get a ‘W,'” Silvas said.
“(Eaton Rapids) would be a heck of a lot more motivation after losing two (games) earlier to them, but I feel like we can get a win against either team.”