Chandler Dale and Drew Ellis have been playing baseball together since they were 12 years old. Behind the Red Devil duo, Jeffersonville has experienced a ton of baseball success.
On Friday, Dale threw a one-hit shutout and Ellis went 3-for-3 with a double, a home run, three runs scored and three driven in as the Class 4A No. 7 Red Devils beat Class 3A No. 9 Charlestown 11-0 at Don Poole Field.
“We’re starting to play better,” Jeff’s second-year head coach Derek Ellis said. “We’re starting to be more aggressive and make things happen. I like the way we’re playing right now.”
Dale has had tough luck on the mound all season. Despite two solid outings, he had Jeff’s only two losses when he got five hits of support combined.
On Friday, he experienced some more hard luck. He entered the bottom of the fifth up 11-0 with a no-hit bid. However, Pirate pinch hitter Brady Hester hit a dribbler past the mound and reached on an infield single.
“We won 11-0 and that’s all I see,” Dale said. “It was a great game and I’m happy with how I pitched. I’m just grateful to get to play baseball today.”
“Chandler was Chandler,” Coach Ellis said. “He threw a lot of first-pitch strikes. And when you do put runs up, it takes a lot of pressure off [the pitcher]. Chandler has pitched well three games in a row and could easily be 3-0.”
Dale was in control from the start. He struck out six Pirates without a walk in his third outing of the 2014 campaign.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel as good as my first two games,” Dale said. “Charlestown’s a great team, but I think I was able to keep them off-balance with my off-speed pitch today.”
After a slow start, Jeff’s offense has been spectacular during its five-game winning streak. The Devils have won by the 10-run rule in five of their six victories.
“We’re being aggressive,” Dale said. “When we’re aggressive, I don’t think there’s anybody in the state that can compete with us. If we keep hitting like this, we’re going to have a good run.”
“We’ve really stepped it up,” said Jeff right fielder Hayden Robb, who went 1-for-2 with a double and two runs scored. “We reassessed ourselves and said we have to be aggressive. Once we’re aggressive, we can beat anybody in the state.”
Jeffersonville (6-2) struck early when Drew Campbell led off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle off of Charlestown starter Kelly Rider. Drew Ellis followed with a booming two-run home run over the left-field fence to get the Devils on the board. It was Ellis’ fourth home run of the season and his third in as many games.
Charlestown (4-2) appeared to have a response in the second. The Pirates loaded the bases with nobody out after Dale hit Tanner Wesp, then Daniel Sprinkle and Rider reached on Red Devil errors. Dale, who had one of the errors, got Colin Martin to ground into a 1-2-3 double play then struck out Jordan Houchens to maintain a 2-0 lead.
After stranding Jared Burke, who led off the second inning with a walk, the Devils added five more runs in the third.
Campbell grounded out to start the frame, but Robb’s one-out walk started the rally. Drew Ellis followed with a single and Dale walked to loaded the bases. Nolan Fertig grounded out to second to allow Robb to score before Burke drilled a two-run double just in front of the center-field fence to make it 5-0.
Following an Ian Ellis walk, Burke scored on a wild pitch in the dirt and an errant attempt to get him out at third. Ian Ellis, who went to third on the Pirate error, scored on a Josh Burke single past the Pirates’ Jordan Hensley-Cole at shortstop.
“We played an absolutely poor game,” Charlestown coach Ricky Romans said. “We didn’t do anything right. We didn’t hit the ball well. We didn’t field the ball well and we didn’t pitch the ball well. And when we did pitch the ball well, we didn’t make plays behind him.”
Drew Ellis made it 3-for-3 — and increased his batting average to .600 — with an RBI double that scored Robb, who opened the bottom of the fourth with a double of his own. Drew Ellis then scored on a Dale single and it was 9-0.
“If he’s still hitting .600 at the end of the season, which I think he will, that would be pretty awesome,” Dale said of Drew Ellis. “He’s a great hitter and he’ll keep it up.”
“He’s hitting the ball well,” Drew Ellis’ father and coach, Derek Ellis, said. “He’s seeing it well. He’s always been confident. But when you’re hitting the ball the way he is, he’s probably even more confident. When guys are hitting in front of him and guys are hitting behind him, he’s going to get a chance to hit.”
Jeffersonville continued to pour it on in the fourth. Josh Burke made it 11-0 — and allowed Dale to close out the Pirates in the fifth — with an RBI double into left field that scored Dale and Jared Burke, who had earlier reached on an error.
“It’s a game that we’re going to get on the bus, go home and forget about,” Romans said.
Charlestown plays at Borden in a doubleheader today. The Braves are coming off an 8-7 upset victory over Class 4A No. 2 Floyd Central on Thursday. The Red Devils are off until Wednesday when they will travel to New Albany to face the rival Bulldogs.
JEFFERSONVILLE 11, CHARLESTOWN 0
Charlestown 000 00— 0 1 3
Jeffersonville 205 4x—11 9 2
W — Chandler Dale (1-2). L — Kelly Rider. 2B — Jared Burke (J), Hayden Robb (J), Drew Ellis (J). HR — Ellis (J).
Records — Charlestown 4-2, Jeffersonville 6-2.