Balthrop leads WC to victory in opener

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2004

[7/13/04]The powerful hitting of Warren Central supported Zach Balthrop’s solid pitching in their 9-1 mercy-rule shortened victory over Performance, a select team out of Jackson, Monday at Warren Central in the opening round of the End of the Summer Showdown.

“I always say that if we can throw strikes and play defense, we will win ball games,” WC coach Randy Broome said. “We did that tonight, and we were rewarded for it.”

Balthrop scattered six hits, striking out eight and walking none.

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Derek Camper had the only extra base hit for Performance, a third-inning double to go along with his base hit.

Eight of nine WC starters got base hits, and six of them crossed the plate at least once.

Josh Gordon led the team with three hits, and Otis Stamps and Nick Carson each had two hits.

Carson’s two-run single in the second inning put WC up 2-0, and that score stood until the fourth when Zack Bugey’s single scored John Howard.

Pitcher Blake Hedrick got the bottom of the inning off to a good start by getting Ryan Grey swinging, but the next eight batters reached base, and WC scored seven runs before the inning ended.

Stamps followed Grey with one of his two singles, and he was knocked in by Drew Warnock’s double.

Then Carson doubled, Will Mendrop singled, and Gordon’s double scored two runs. Ben Koestler was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Hedrick walked the next two batters, scoring two more runs.

Derek Camper was brought on in relief, and he allowed another base hit before getting the last two outs.

“Their pitcher got in trouble in that inning,” Broome said. “Our hitters just got to him. We capitalized on their mistakes and did our jobs well.

“We’ve been preaching all summer about leaving the bases loaded, because that might be the best chance you get all game. After we missed the chance early on, our hitters did a good job of taking advantage of that tonight, and hats off to them for doing that.”

WC is scheduled to play Jackson Academy, a winner over the Delta Tigers, today at 7:45 p.m.