Owen Valley Muzzles Bulldogs, 23-13 In Seven-Inning Road Win
Improving to 5-4 on the season, the Patriots posted 23 runs on 23 hits with 21 of those batted in to capture an offense-fueled victory on the road.
“It starts with offense and we hit a lot, we had 23 hits as a team; we hit the ball really hard and we only struck out twice on the night,” OV head coach Brian Greene said. “Casey Roberts drove in six runs with two home runs, so he had a big night. Then Austin Hunter had a three-run double and a grand slam to drive in seven runs.”
Nathan Swafford went 3-for-6 on the night with a double to drive in three runs, while starting pitcher Trent Whitton helped himself at the plate, going 3-for-6 with a pair of singles and a home run to drive in three runs.
“The most encouraging thing for us was that we kept hitting, we’ve had those nights where we scored and then put the bats away,” coach Greene said. “But we just kept hitting, which is what we want to do.”
The Patriots were poised to close the contest after the fifth until a few miscues pushed the contest into the sixth and seventh innings.
“We lost a pop-up in the sun and we had a couple of those perfectly placed hits where nobody could get them, we let it get to us a little bit and made some errors throwing the ball around in the infield,” coach Greene explained. “Since we won we can sit back and say there’s something we can learn from there and not be too frustrated about it, but we would like to stop it at two or three runs as opposed to eight, but those innings happen.”
On the mound, Whitton took the win in four and one-third innings, allowing 11 runs, seven of which were earned, on three hits and five walks with eight strikeouts.
In relief, sophomore Casey Roberts went two and two-thirds innings, allowing two more earned runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
“Trent is getting better each time out. He threw hard and threw strikes for the most part... he gave us a chance to win the game,’ coach Greene said. “We brought Casey in with the bases loaded in the fifth and he got out of it, then in the sixth and seventh he didn’t give them anything, so it was a nice job to finish it out for us.”
Coach Greene also mentioned what he called the “defensive play of the night” at shortstop by senior Ben Allen.
“He made a beautiful play in the hole, got to it and got rid of it in a hurry with an off-balanced throw. He backhanded it and threw it across the infield on his back foot,” coach Greene noted. “I know with 23 hits and four home runs, that little play may get lost, but that was high-level baseball he was playing.”
The Patriots were scheduled to host Western Indiana Conference rival Edgewood on Tuesday at Patriot Field.
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