NEW WASHINGTON —
A solid outing by starting pitcher Dakota Harrell helped the Henryville baseball team improve to 2-0 in the Southern Athletic Conference on Monday in a 6-1 victory at New Washington.
Harrell pitched his second complete game of the season, yielding no earned runs on five hits. The junior right-hander struck out seven and walked two, improving his record to 3-0.
Hornets’ head coach Jeff Schroeder lauded Harrell for rebounding from a rough outing in his last pitching stint during a 9-8 loss to Eastern on April 17.
“He did a good job. He had to attack the first batter he faced in each inning today,” Schroeder said. “In the last game he pitched, he didn’t have good command of his pitches.”
One pitch Harrell had good control of was his cutter. Harrell used that pitch to get several Mustangs to either strike out or ground out throughout the game.
“When he gets that pitch down, he’s pretty tough,” Schroeder said. “When he gets it up, he gets in trouble.”
For most of the game, Henryville (6-6) took advantage of several Mustang miscues to push runs across the plate.
The Hornets plated two runs in the top of the second inning off New Washington starter Cody Rager to go up 2-0.
Henryville’s Dylan Collins led off the frame by getting hit by a pitch. After a Brent Taylor groundout and Austin Bowles drawing a walk, Hornet center fielder Joey Martin smacked an opposite-field single into right field to drive in Collins for Henryville’s first run. Shortly thereafter, Martin scored on a Rager wild pitch.
New Washington (3-7, 0-2 SAC) scored its lone run of the contest in the bottom of the second.
Brad Baker led off the inning with a bloop double that dropped into shallow left field. Baker then advanced to third base on a throwing error. A Dustin Cooper grounder to third plated Baker to cut the Mustangs’ deficit to 2-1.
New Washington had a chance to tack on more runs in the frame.
Austin Richards smacked a two-out single to shallow right. The next batter, Jake Harbin, then hit a double to deep right. But on the play, Richards got thrown out at the plate while trying to score, ending the inning.
After the second, the Mustangs managed just two hits and five baserunners.
The Hornets scored twice in the top of the fourth, as Schroeder tried to jump-start his team’s offense with a surprising suicide squeeze.
With one out and the bases loaded, senior Braydon Quillin got the bunt down on a high fastball by Rager, while Collins came rushing home from third to put Henryville up 3-1. Quillin got thrown out at first base.
“I’m not big on having a guy squeeze with the bases loaded,” Schroeder said. “But he did a good job of getting the bunt down. We needed to get something going.”
New Washington relief pitcher Lane Johnson, who replaced Rager in the fourth, knocked in the Hornets’ fourth run. Johnson walked the first batter he faced in Jordan Hahn with the bases loaded.
Henryville’s final two runs occurred in the top of the seventh. Cody Reister launched a double to left-center field to knock in Hahn. Then with two out, pinch-runner Christian Smith scored on an RBI single by Taylor.
Collins had two runs scored, as no Hornet had a multihit game.
The Hornets managed only four hits in the contest, as they struggled against the off-speed pitches from both Rager and Johnson.
“We haven’t faced any soft throwers all year. I never felt during the game that we got adjusted to them,” Schroeder said. “But there are no excuses. We did not do a good job of being disciplined at the plate.”
Rager got the loss, giving up four runs (two earned) on one hit. He walked seven Hornets, hit one and struck out one.
Johnson pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, surrendering two runs (both earned) on three hits. He fanned six and walked two.
Baker and Roberts each went 2-for-3 with a double.
“We’ve got a good hitting team and a good fielding team. We just make some mental errors,” New Washington assistant coach Billy Siewert said. “We’re getting better. I think we’ll be a team to reckon with come the sectional.”
Henryville hosts Clarksville in a make-up game at 5:30 p.m. today. New Washington will have another SAC contest at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Crothersville.
HENRYVILLE 020 200 2—6 4 2
NEW WASH 010 000 0—1 5 3
W — Harrell (3-0). L — Rager. 2B — Reister (H), Baker (NW), Roberts (NW), Ja. Harbin (NW).
Records — Henryville 6-6, 2-0 SAC; New Washington 3-7, 0-2.