Wolverine starter Jordan Thull faced just five batters, struggling mightily to find the strike zone. He walked the first two batters of the game on eight straight pitches, struck out No. 3 hitter Colton Robinson on three straight pitches, then walked cleanup batter Chad Radelich on six pitches.
Timothy Maldonado came on in relief of Thull with the bases juiced and nobody out, having inherited a 1-0 count to Patriot Blue first baseman Kevin Harrity. After Maldonado got Harrity to ground into a fielder's choice at home plate, Patriot Blue capitalized on the three Thull walks and some shaky defense by the Wolverines, scoring on a bobbled grounder by shortstop Christopher Riel to take a 1-0 lead.
The Wolverines got that run right back in the bottom of the first, thanks to back-to-back-to-back singles. Centerfielder Martell Esteenm led things off with a sharp single back up the middle and scored after a pair of beautiful bunt singles by Riel and Chris Carvajal.
Right fielder Stephen Zeiler led off the second inning with a walk; then stole second base, setting up a go-ahead RBI single by starting pitcher Sean Packard.
Packard made the 2-1 Patriot Blue lead hold up until the third inning, when Antioch-Deer Valley pulled ahead for good. A leadoff walk, followed by an Esteenm single into left field with a throwing error on the play allowing both runners to advance, set the table for Riel.
The incoming senior made up for his fielding error in the first inning with a bomb deep to right field that went for a ground-rule double and two RBIs, and gave the Wolverines a 3-2 lead.
Three Patriot Blue errors led to three insurance runs for the Wolverines, one in the fourth and two more in the sixth, and Carvajal threw a scoreless seventh inning to pick up the save.
Esteenm plagued Patriot Blue at the plate and on the base paths all afternoon, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Even when he didn't hit the ball well he still found himself standing on first, reaching on a bobbled grounder to third and a dropped throw at first base for a perfect 1.000 OBP.
Austin Wiggins threw three and a third scoreless innings in relief of Maldonado to pick up the win for Antioch-Deer Valley, striking out four and allowing just one hit. The righty, who will be a junior this fall, exhibited excellent control of his breaking ball, which he was able to throw both for a called strike early in the count and out of the zone for the swinging "K."