The Associated Press
The Nederland Bulldogs wasted a 12 strikeout performance by Mitchell Sanderson, falling to host Dayton 2-0 in Game 1 of the Class 4A bidistrict playoff three-game series.
Dayton (20-9) rode the hitting and pitching of its ace right-hander Kevin Roe to the victory. Roe pitched out of trouble in the top half of the first, striking out Aaron Sampere with right fielder Jordan Wood and catcher Brian Feltman on first and second.
The Bulldogs would also miss out on scoring opportunities in the second and again in the fourth.
In the bottom of the first, the Broncos proved that you never know what will happen when you put the ball in play. Dayton’s Brad Sowell reached with one out on an infield hit to third, moved to second on a two out walk to Connor Green and scored when Roe laced a 2-2 pitch for an RBI single. It was all the run support the Broncos righty Roe would need on a cold, blustery night.
The Broncos added an insurance run in the fifth courtesy of an infield hit, a couple of errors and a bases loaded walk to right fielder Timothy Wehmeyer, scoring Tristan Baughman from third.
Before the game, Nederland head coach Cody Robbins talked about what his team needed to do to win the series.
“All season we have been a sound baseball team,” said Robbins. “In the playoffs we are going to have to continue to hit the baseball if we want to win.”
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Roe was almost unhittable on this night, as he surrendered just five hits and a walk against six strikeouts. The Bulldogs (22-5) stranded runners at second in the second and fourth innings.
After Brandon Self’s one out single in the fourth, Roe sat down 11 of Nederland’s final 12 batters. Sampere, the Nederland first baseman, reached on a catcher’s interference call with one out in the sixth.
Wood had two of Nederland’s five hits.
With the win, Dayton pitching posted its second consecutive shutout.
Nederland returns home on Friday for Game 2 of the series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. The Bulldogs will need to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time this season if they want to stretch the series to a third game which would be played on Saturday in Nederland at 1 p.m.