Kieboom led off the 10th with a walk and reached second on Henry Rowling’s sacrifice bunt. After a groundout, Rooks connected with a full-count pitch and hit it over Woodstock second baseman Dalton Delay, allowing Kieboom to slide in with the game-winning run.
“That was definitely my biggest clutch hit of the season,” said Rooks, a freshman who batted 3-for-5 with a run scored. “I was looking for a fastball, and that’s what I saw. The whole at-bat, I knew I needed a base hit, so I worked the count to my favor, saw some strikes and saw some balls, and it all worked out.
“It feels great to be a freshman playing on the varsity team and to get a game-winning hit in this situation in a region game. It’s the best feeling.”
Woodstock (9-3, 0-1) trailed 4-2 entering the top of sixth inning, but scored twice to even things up. Chase Williams, who was 2-for-5
with two RBIs and a run scored, hit a lead-off home run into left field to pull the Wolverines within 3-2.
Delay, who was 2-for-4 and scored a run, hit a two-out single and came around to score on pinch-hitter George Jance’s at-bat to knot the contest at 4-all. Jance reached first on an error at first, and the ball went into the dugout, allowing Delay to come home.
Walton (9-2, 2-0) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Tyler Heinrichs’ home run scored Chase Burks.
Heinrichs batted 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Burks scored both times he reached base.
Two singles and two hit batsmen in the top of the third allowed Woodstock to tie the game at 2-all.
Johnathan Meuse singled, Tanner Thomson was hit by a pitch and Jack Brannon’s single into left plated Meuse to put the Wolverines in the run column. Thompson reached third on Brannon’s at-bat and Williams hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Thomson with the tying run.
Walton went ahead in the fourth behind a two-out, two-run single from Chris Hummel that plated Burks from third and Rooks from second. Burks was hit by a pitch with one out, reached second on Rooks’ single and advanced to third on Heinrichs’ single. A pop out left the bases loaded, leading to Hummel’s single.
Both teams’ pitchers performed well, with Walton starter Will White allowing four runs — three earned — on four hits and striking out three in six innings. Glenn Panter struck out three and didn’t allow a run in two innings of relief. Logan Barnette collected the win, striking out two without giving up a run in two innings.
“I thought both teams played a great, solid, baseball game,” Walton coach Shane Amos said. “It came down to whoever gets the run, and we were fortunate to be that team.
“Glenn did a great job and did us two strong innings, and Logan finished it out. We needed those innings, and Jason is a guy who goes up there and does what he’s supposed to do in that situation. He didn’t muscle it, and made his at-bat count.”
Parker Austin gave up four earned runs over seven innings for Woodstock. Trevor Hillhouse allowed one earned run and struck out three on two hits in three innings of relief.
Will Long also had two hits.
“I loved that my guys competed,” Woodstock coach Todd Harris said. “Both teams gave their best shot, and there had to be one winner and one loser. My guys handled themselves and played to the end. That’s all I can ask of them, and I appreciated their effort.”
The teams will complete a home-and-home series by playing today at Woodstock.