GRAND CHUTE, Wis. — The Mineral Point baseball team had no answer for Webster pitching ace Jack Washburn during Thursday’s WIAA Division 4 championship game.
The senior Oregon State recruit struck out 12 batters while giving up just two hits — both in the first inning — as last year’s Division 3 champs took home a gold ball in the Division 4 title game with an 11-1 win over the Pointers at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The loss marked the sole blemish this season for the second-ranked Pointers, who played in the championship game for the first time in program history.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Mineral Point coach Jordan Tibbits said. “They are taking home a trophy, the first one in this program’s history.”
Mineral Point (27-1) took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Liam Stumpf and Justin Baehler had back-to-back hits. Stumpf was thrown out at home on a double by Baehler, but Baehler was able to score on a passed ball during the next at-bat.
“It was really important for us to get a run in right away,” Tibbits said. “Jack has only given up one earned run all year, so anytime you can score on him that’s huge.”
Washburn, a 6-foot-2, 208-pound right-handed pitcher, is among the top prospects in the country in the Class of 2019. According to Prep Baseball Report, his fastball has maxed out at 90 mph, with a curveball in the 79-81 range and a change-up in the 78-80 range. He also plays outfield.
The Tigers (30-0) did most of their damage in the second inning, scoring five runs off five hits to take a 5-1 lead.
“That really took the wind out of our sails,” Tibbits said. “It’s extremely hard to come back against a team of that caliber.”
Washburn then retired the next five batters before a pair of Webster errors put Pointer runners back on base.
“We’ve never seen anyone like Jack, and we probably never will again,” Tibbits said. “We hope Jack ends up having a career like his dad so these kids can say they played in a state final against a major leaguer.”
Jarrod Washburn, Jack’s father and the Tigers’ head coach, played 12 years in the majors for the LA Angels, Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers.
Webster added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, and four more in the seventh. The Tigers finished the game with 12 hits, led by Jack Washburn’s 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Owen Washburn went 2-for-5, while Trevor Gustafson went 2-for-4 and Coleton Peterson 2-for-3.
Mineral Point’s Curtis Cox started the game on the mound and went two innings before Grady Gorgen entered in relief. Cox gave up seven hits and five runs while striking out two. Gorgen gave up five hits and six runs, only two of which were earned.
“These guys battled the entire game, and they did the very best they could do today,” Tibbits said. “That’s all I could ask out of them.”