Wapakoneta hurler Andrew Hines made his first career varsity start a memorable one.
The Redskin righty scattered three hits over six innings of work to shut down the Lima Senior hitters and propel Wapakoneta past the Spartans 9-1 in a nonleague affair Thursday night.
The Redskins remain unbeaten on the early season at 5-0. Lima Senior remains winless and falls to 0-3.
Facing a young Lima club, Hines breezed the Spartan lineup and had little trouble throughout his pitching performance. Hines, who fanned six, faced just 16 batters in the first five innings while walking just three in the game. The lone Spartan run came in the sixth after scratching out a run on a fielder’s choice.
Alex Koch pitched the final frame and despite loading the bases, struck out the final batter to not only work out of the jam but complete the inning by striking out the side.
Redskins varsity coach Jason Brandt was encouraged by Hines’ outing.
“Andrew did all we could ask for him to do,” Brandt said. “He threw strikes for us and worked ahead in the count and then let them put the ball in play and we made some plays behind him. I was very pleased with the way Andrew threw today.”
Lima Senior varsity coach Jimmy Morris said his young club has had trouble hitting all season but was pleased that his club battled to the end. In their first three games, Lima Senior has scored just one run.
“Actually I am really pleased with the way we hit,” Morris said. “I know we struck out a lot but we got on base and that is a big step from where we have been and I think we are continuing to make progress.”
Hines got plenty of offensive support from his teammates as the ’Skins pounded out 10 hits and battered Lima Senior pitcher Dylan Keith who continually found himself in trouble throughout the game.
Keith, who went the distance, gave up 10 runs, walked six, hit four batters and gave up all nine runs.
Four different Redskins collected two hits in the contest and all but two Redskins who played failed to collect a hit in the game. Wapakoneta’s Johnny Crawford went 2-for-3 with two RBI and 2 runs scored. He also collected three stolen bases.
Teammate Josh Apple went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Chace Culver and Keaton Zwiebel also went 2-fo-4.
“We want to be aggressive and we know the top of our order is a good hitting group,” Brandt said. “Those guys can get on a run the bases fairly well and they can do the little things that we want to see them do and when you get guys on that puts pressure on the other team.”
The Redskin offense got off to a quick start when they manufactured two runs in the first after a double by Crawford drove in lead-off man Koch, who had led the game off with a single, to score the first run of the game.
Three more Redskin runs crossed the plate in the third when Apple, who led the inning off with a double, came around to score on a Crawford single. Crawford, who had worked his way around to third, scored on a wild pitch. The third run came when Zwiebel’s single brought home Brandon Schrieber.
The Redskins, who failed to score in the fourth and fifth despite getting men on base, exploded for four runs when the Redskins batted around in the inning. Scoring runs in the inning were Dylan Knoch, Apple, Schrieber and Culver, who had a double in the inning. Zwiebel picked up his second RBI of the game on a single to bring home Culver.
Despite the nine runs scored, Brandt said there is room offensively and as a team overall.
“We didn’t put our pedal to the metal, so to say,” Brandt said. “We took a couple of innings off where we thought we could have been a little better and not to make excuses we have to get better.”
Brandt knows that a tough Western Buckeye League schedule looms in the near future and the Redskin skipper knows that the Redskins need to sharpen their skills if they are going to vie for the league title.
“I am very pleased that we are undefeated but we know we can get better,” he added. “We know we haven’t played anywhere near our best and that is a good thing because I would rather be playing as the season goes on and then we still have some things to work on.”
The Redskins will get a chance to hone their skills today when they battle Ben Logan today