After a 7-18 spring with no less than 11 of those losses by one or two runs, Evergreen is using the summer to look for improvement in turning those tight losses into wins.
The Vikings put together a solid pitching performance from Dave Moore, error-free defense and timely hitting with runners on base, and with two outs to score a six-inning 10-0 home win over Pettisville in ACME play Thursday.
“We’ve improved a lot (since the first game of the summer),” said Vikings’ ACME coach Dylan Henricks. “One thing I tried to have them change was to be more aggressive and that has led to more opportunities to score. Timely hitting has been an issue for us but today we had a lot of those and they produced a lot of our runs. They’re getting better each week and improving each week and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Evergreen struck with two down in the bottom of the first when Josh Dowling’s hard ground ball went through shortstop Austin Horning for an error, and two hitters later, Sam Lubinski stroked a run-scoring single to center to give Evergreen a lead.
Moore was more than effective, not allowing a hit until Justin Rupp’s single with two down in the third, and getting out of a mini jam in the fourth.
Horning walked to open the fourth, then stole second and third, but Moore struck out the next two Blackbirds and got Joel Flory to line softly to short to end the inning.
Evergreen added on with four in the bottom of the inning.
Moore opened with a base hit and went to second on Adam Baumgartner’s sacrifice.
Brendan Canfield’s single plated Moore for the Vikings second run of the game.
David Carroll followed Canfield’s hit with a single and after two were out, Mason Henricks doubled over the head of the left fielder to mark another run and a wild pitch along with Zack Lumbrezer’s base hit scored two more to make it 5-0.
The Vikes got four more in the fifth as after consecutive errors, Baumgartner drilled a run-scoring single to left, Canfield doubled down the left field line for two more and Bryce Eisel’s base hit through the hole got the fourth run home.
Lumbrezer put the game away in the sixth as he singled, stole second and scored on a pair of wild pitches to end the night.
Rupp’s hit in the third was the only Blackbird hit of the night and the Viking lefty walked just two while striking out nine.
“We have four or five guys I believe we can send out there and go four, five, even six innings a game” stated coach Henricks regarding the Vikes’ work on the mound. “It’s been nice, we’ve had a couple miscues defensively in games but I think the heart and soul of this team is our pitching.”
Logan Rufenacht took the loss for Pettisville.
Evergreen now plays at Delta on Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m. Pettisville will host Wauseon at 6 p.m.