Prep baseball: George Washington tops Riverside as tempers flare
George Washington junior Jeff Wong feels a little extra bounce in his step when Riverside is on the schedule.
When a scheduling snafu changed the location from Quincy to GW’s Floyd B. Wilcox Field, he couldn’t have been motivated any more.
Wong went six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks and the Patriots pounded out 10 hits en route to a 10-0 mercy-shortened victory over the Warriors (11-5) in a game that included more fireworks than just a sixth-inning solo home run by GW cleanup hitter Clayton Anderson.
“I definitely don’t like Riverside,” Wong said. “Which probably fueled me … yea.”
George Washington scored in every inning and finished it off with a two-run sixth sparked by Anderson’s line-drive homer over the left-field fence and a bloop single by Carson Whiting.
The Patriots concluded the game by heading straight to right field for their post-game conference without shaking hands.
“We didn’t shake hands because I didn’t want anything to happen,” George Washington coach Chad Campbell said. “Kid’s (Chaz Davis) throwing his helmet, out in left field yelling hit the (expletive) when Jeff’s up. I’m not going to have my kid going through the line and something happen. They can say what they want.”
Wong, the Patriots’ big right-hander, set down the first five batters with three strikeouts when Davis came to the plate. Wong got behind the count 3-0 and hit Davis in the square of the back with a fastball.
Davis reacted angrily and tempers flared before the senior took his base. A Sam Stone single and stolen base put runners at second and third with two outs, but Wong avoided any damage by inducing an inning-ending groundout.
“That kid’s got a history,” Wong said. “(During a summer game) he tried to run over me, ran over our catcher and tried to run over our shortstop. A lot of stuff.”
The Warriors couldn’t gain the momentum, and had just three baserunners the rest of the game. Wong retired Riverside’s last seven batters.
Meanwhile, George Washington received a run-scoring single by Anderson in the first, a two-run double by Austin Griffith in the second, an RBI groundout by Carson Whiting in the third and an RBI triple by Garrett Vogelbach in the fourth. The host’s lead reached 8-0 on a run-scoring groundout by Whiting in the fifth and an RBI single by catcher Grant Wooten.
Riverside interim coach Pat Vogelsang, who replaced first-year coach Trey Barcus before he coached a game, said his team didn’t respond the way he would’ve liked.
“The kid (Wong) throws 60 strikes and threw 35 balls all night then suddenly he misses four that are all in that (batter’s) box,” Vogelsang said. “I don’t buy it. But, it is what it is.
“We’re trying to build a culture where we don’t worry about things like that and stay focused. I think we lost that focus tonight.”
Vogelsang wasn’t aware of the history between the teams. Davis said there is no love lost between GW and Riverside.
“That Wong kid likes to hit me, I guess,” he said. “I accidentally ran over their catcher (during a summer game). It was a squeeze play and we forgot to lay the bunt down and he was standing on the plate. I wasn’t paying attention and I accidentally hit him. He (Wong) hit me five times last year. A little much, but, it’s my fault.
“My temper got the best of me. I’m not really like that. I should’ve walked to the base without saying a word. That’s who they are, their coach likes to make the calls and we’re who we are. We’re here to play.”
The two teams won’t play again unless they meet in the Class AAA Region 3 semifinals.
“I’d like to play them again, for sure,” Wong said. “Hopefully, I get the ball that game too.”
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at email@example.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail.