Dutchtown uses small ball to squeak past Parkview
Sometimes, you just have to play small ball.
Dutchtown head coach Chris Schexnaydre surely isn't too proud to play it. With his team trailing 1-0 late and being no-hit by Parkview Baptist's Adam Tarver, the Griffins used two great bunts to take the lead.
The three-run fifth inning allowed Dutchtown to take the 3-1 advantage and with Dillon Abbess pitching six and 1/3 innings of nearly flawless baseball, the Griffins were able to take home the win.
"We were hitless going into the fifth, and then we were able to get a couple of walks and get on with a couple of bunts," Schexnaydre said. "We executed the small game, and that's what we've been working on really hard this year. A bunt, I don't care if the other team knows it's coming, if you execute it, you give yourself a chance to score."
Until the critical fifth inning, the game was a big-time pitchers' duel between Abbess and Tarver.
Abbess set the tone early as he struck out two batters and only needed nine pitches to make the Eagles go three up and three down in the top of the first.
Heading into the fourth inning, there was only one hit between both teams.
Parkview's lineup finally found some success as Hunter Joubert led off with a walk. Hayden Nickens then belted out a beautiful RBI double down the rightfield line that finally broke the scoreless tie.
Leading 1-0, the Eagles looked primed to pile on more runs in the the top of the fifth when Sawyer Accardo fought off an 0-2 count to earn a walk.
Pryce Fletcher then singled to put two Eagles on base with just one out, but a two-strikeout inning for Abbess helped Dutchtown escape unscathed.
The Griffins finally found pay dirt in the top of the fifth.
Dane Anderson and Tyler Boeding led the inning off with two straight walks.
Connor McCrory then gave Dutchtown their first hit of the game as he laid down a terrific bunt to load the bases. Cullen Ballard then followed it up with another great bunt that Tarver couldn't scoop up.
Tarver continued to struggle with his control as he walked in a run, and the Griffins got their final score when Caleb Ricca hit a sacrifice grounder.
The three-run inning was all Dutchtown needed to ice away the win.
Abbess struck out two more Eagles in the sixth and when he took a seat in the seventh, Hunter Sanford came in and ended the contest with two straight strikeouts.
Tarver ended up only allowing two hits in five complete innings. As good as he was, Abbess stole the show.
In six and 1/3 innings of work, he struck out 11 Eagles, and he only gave up three hits and one run.
"He's a guy that's just a phenomenal athlete. Not only is he a great pitcher, he's a great athlete on the mound. He's got a lot of energy, and he knows how to throw to hitters," Schexnaydre said. "He has a tremendous slider; that's his best pitch. He had it tonight, he was locked in and he wanted the baseball."
No batter had multiple hits in the game. For Dutchtown, Boeding went 1-2 with a walk. McCrory was 1-2 with a walk, and Ballard was 1-1 with a walk and an RBI. Ourso and Ricca each had an RBI.
After a 3-1 showing in the Stephen Richard Memorial Tournament, the victory pushed the Griffins to 4-1.
Coach Schexnaydre was very pleased with the great start his inexperienced team has had.
"If you continue to get the good pitching that we've gotten so far, I see us being successful much of the year. Early on in the year, we have a lot of guys with some confidence," Schexnaydre said. "Sometimes, they play a lot better than they really are and right now, we have some guys playing really well. They're playing really hard, and they're excited to come to the park each game."