“I was on top of the world then,” Dickey said. “With that lead, I felt like we could pull through again.”
The way he was pitching, that wasn’t much of a problem. Dickey (7-3) retired the side in order three times and didn’t allow a runner past second over the first five innings. Striking out the first two batters in the game certainly didn’t hurt.
“That brought my confidence way up,” he said. “I knew the other team had a great pitcher, so I had to come out and play big today. Our guys made great plays on defense all night, and we pulled through.”
The Beavers finally broke through in the top of the sixth. Dickey hit leadoff batter Seth Kaufmann with a pitch, and his next pitch was in the dirt, allowing Kaufmann to take second. When Carter followed with an RBI single to right-center, Wilton was within 3-1 and had the heart of its order coming to the plate.
But, Dickey came through with two of his biggest pitches of the night.
First, he got Crawford — Wilton’s top hitter with a .451 average and six home runs — to foul out to catcher Zach Scott on a 3-2 pitch. The count also went full to the next batter — Austin Croson (.430, team-high 41 RBIs) — but Dickey caught him looking at strike three on a knee-buckling pitch on the inside corner.
An error on Stoecker, the shortstop, kept the inning going and put runners on the corners, but the Rebels got out of trouble when Stoecker charged a slow roller by Trey Harris, threw off-balance from the infield grass and delivered a strike to Dondiego at first for the third out.
“I just thought I needed to do it for Cole,” Stoecker said. “He pitched one hell of a game. Having that error, I thought I’d better make up for it. It’s a little nerve-wracking, but I felt good having Cole on the mound.”