Otwell homers twice as Glencoe tops White Plains
Mon. April 22, 2013 at 11:02 p.m. | By J.J. Hicks Staff Writer
Glencoe’s Daniel Otwell connects for one of his two home runs in Monday’s win over White Plains. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times)
GLENCOE — After splitting with White Plains on Saturday in the first round of the high school baseball playoffs, Glencoe coach Charlie Robertson said that Daniel Otwell needed to break out of his slump.
The senior shortstop must have gotten the message.
Otwell went 3 for 3 with two home runs and an intentional walk as the Yellow Jackets blistered the Wildcats 8-0 Monday to advance to the second round. They will open the series with Piedmont, who beat Cleveland 7-3 in the rubber game of their series, on the road at 5 p.m. Friday.
Glencoe and Piedmont split a pair of games earlier this season.
Otwell believed that he was ready to get back on track.
“I knew I was due,” Otwell said. “It’s awesome. I just want to thank my teammates. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have done anything.”
Before the game, Robertson had a feeling his shortstop was primed for a big game.
“He hit the ball really well in batting practice,” Robertson said. “He’s a great player. I can’t say enough about him. He’s a leader.”
In addition to Otwell’s monster day, Dalton Roberts brought his best stuff to the mound for Glencoe (16-5). He pitched a complete-game six-hitter, striking out eight while walking three. He also reached base three times, on a double, single and on an error.
“That’s my little ace in the hole right there,” Robertson said of Roberts. “He’s just a good ball player. He did good.”
Roberts got the Yellow Jackets going by leading off the game with a two-bagger. After a pop out, Otwell drove the ball over the right-field fence to stake Glencoe to all the runs it would need. Will Parker followed with a solo blast to left field to extend the lead to 3-0.
The lead grew in the third inning. Houston Word led off with a walk and Otwell singled. That brought in Zach Cunningham to relieve White Plains (19-13) starting pitcher Miles Masters.
Cunningham tossed a three-hit gem in the second game of the series, a 7-2 Wildcat win. Things didn’t go quite as well for him this time.
After a strike out, Dalton Reid reached on an error to score Word and make it 4-0. Joseph Fails reached on an error that plated Otwell and made it 5-0. A double steal got Reid home for a 6-0 advantage.
In the fourth, Roberts got on via an error, and two batters later, Otwell hit a towering shot over the 390-foot sign in center field to make it 8-0.
“I knew it was coming sooner or later, and it finally got here,” Otwell said of his performance.
The closest White Plains came to scoring was in the bottom of the fourth. Cunningham led off with a single for the first Wildcat hit of the game, and he reached second on a passed ball. After Roberts fanned Ryan Kirby, Masters singled to put two runners on. Roberts induced a pop out by Tyler Hardcastle and a fly out by Peyton Whitten to get out of the jam unscathed.
Glencoe collected seven hits in the game.
“It’s been awhile since we made it past the first round,” Otwell said. “It’s exciting for all of us.”