ROANOKE – Eureka and Roanoke-Benson/Lowpoint-Washburn combined to strand 15 runners on base on April 5. Of those, each club left six in scoring position.
However, the guests broke through in the top of the fourth inning in a 2-0 victory.
A wild pitch brought in the first Eureka (10-2) run before Keegan Zimmerman’s single up the middle scored Brady Krile with the other tally.
The Hornets finished with six hits, but were able to make sustained contact.
“When you do not play much you never know,” pointed out Eureka coach Dane Wear. “I was glad the way we hit. We hit the ball hard just right at people.”
Krile finished with two of the six hits and also got the win on the mound. He came on in relief with two RBLW (3-8) runners aboard and one out in the bottom of the third. The junior struck out two to end the threat.
Over his two and a third innings, Krile (3-1) struck out five and the lone baserunner was a walk. His three-quarter arm angle presents quite a challenge to a righty batter, as he fanned four of the six he faced.
“He’s tough on lefties too with his change,” added Wear. “We knew we would be keeping everybody under 45 (pitches) since we’re figuring on not playing Friday or Monday. It worked out perfectly bringing Brady in. Down the road when we stretch him out, he’s one of the best in the area. I’m surprised nobody has looked at him.”
In all, Eureka used four pitchers for the combined shutout.
Besides the third, the Rockets left the bases loaded in the sixth and two aboard in the seventh. Jett Weer reached on an error to lead off the seventh and with two outs Jake Weber singled. Jarrett Bline, who represented the winning run, grounded out to end it, as Eureka’s Aaron Schwab earned the save.
RBLW got just one hit in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position and they also fanned nine times, five of the looking variety.
“I’m probably more frustrated with the strikeouts looking,” Rockets’ coach Wade Hunter said. “You cannot take strikeouts looking with runners on base. Nobody’s jamming hitters inside. There’s no reason to take a pitch on the outer third. When you look down the bench, you do not have anybody to bring in.”
Daniel Kennell (0-4) was effective on the mound, as he went four and two-thirds, but suffered the loss.