ST. MARYS – Wilcox starting pitcher Quinn Luhr picked a good time to turn in one of his best pitching performances.
Luhr threw 7 1-3 innings and gave up three runs as Wilcox won its second game of the Region 8 tournament 8-3 over Albion Sunday afternoon at Berwind Park in St. Marys.
"They put it to us in the first game last year," Wilcox coach Jeff Peterson said. "We showed we're a lot better than what we showed last year. Quinn Luhr, hats off to him. That was just an outstanding, stepup, can't even put it into words performance. I was looking for two or three out of him. He carried us for seven or eight. You couldn't ask for more. We were going to roll him and Mitchell Holmberg. He was throwing so good and they couldn't hit him. Our defense is there. Hey, his pitch count was way low, just an outstanding performance."
Luhr scattered nine hits, walked none and struck out one in the victory. Luhr also picked off an Albion runner in the fifth inning with runners on first and third and two out to end the threat with Wilcox ahead 5-0.
Wilcox has now defeated both Albion and French Creek Valley in successive games, the two teams who beat Wilcox in 2011. Albion won 14-1 in seven innings in the tournament opener last year. French Creek Valley won 15-7 over Wilcox to eliminate them from the tournament as Wilcox was 2-2 last year.
Like Saturday's game, a 5-run third inning spurred Wilcox to a lead early in the game. Sunday's 5-run inning was a methodical barrage of singles by Wilcox. Kocjancic led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a Cole Peterson sacrifice bunt. After a flyout, the 2-out rally continued as Mitchell Holmberg hit a sharp single to right which pushed Kocjancic to third. Josh Mitchell was then walked on four pitches. Ben MacDonald singled home both Kocjancic and Holmberg for a 2-0 Wilcox lead. MacDonald led Wilcox with three RBI.
Joe Holmberg then singled to left to score Mitchell. Luhr followed with a single to right field which would score MacDonald and Cameron Grumley would rope Wilcox's fourth straight single and fifth of the inning to plate Joe Holmberg for a 5-0 Wilcox lead.
"It knocked the wind right out of them," coach Peterson said. "They were legitimate hits, they weren't errors."
Wilcox would expand on the lead in the sixth. Cole Peterson notched a 1-out single and then stole second base. A wild pitch moved Peterson to third and he scored on a Mitchell Holmberg single. Mitchell walked and MacDonald singled home Mitchell Holmberg for a 7-0 lead.
Peterson led off the eighth with a single. After a strikeout, Mitchell Holmberg singled and Mitchell followed with a single of his own to score Peterson. Peterson finished 4 for 4 with a sacrifice bunt. Wilcox had 15 hits.
"Everybody on the team hit," coach Peterson said. "Everybody's hitting, we're clicking, it's time for it to happen."
Albion would not get on the board until the seventh inning with the team down 7-0. Nathan Noe and J.R. Mountain singled with one out and James Clinger would drive home Noe with a single of his own.
In the eighth, Daniel Gierlak and Josh Ponsoll singled and doubled, respectively, both scored on a single by Clinger. Clinger had all three RBI for Albion.
Peterson came on in relief and threw the final 1 2-3 innings in perfect fashion as he walked none and struck out three.
"With Cole and Josh sitting back, we were going to throw them two apiece but we didn't need it," coach Peterson said.
Wilcox will take on Millcreek tonight at 7:30 p.m. as the teams progress in the winner's bracket at Berwind Park. In other action Sunday, French Creek Valley eliminated Corry with a 19-0 victory. Brookville forfeited to Meadville, the game will be officially designated as a 9-0 victory for Meadville.
Millcreek won 14-4 over St. Marys in seven innings Sunday night.