Trey Hershberger may have set a precedent with his great pitching outing for the Garaway Pirates. One game after Hershberger shut out the Tuscarawas Central Catholic Saints, teammate Austin Miller twirled six strong innings against a strong sandy Valley club, leading the Pirates to a 7-2 victory that evened its record at 8-8, and improved the Pirates to 5-4 in Inter-Valley Conference play.
Miller pulled a Houdini for much of the game, escaping trouble, and the Pirates bats, led by the mashing Dallas Foster, did plenty to aid his effort.
The Pirates got things going early, scoring in the first inning when Trey Hershberger singled and came around on a ringing double to left off the bat of Foster.
Meanwhile Miller was getting into and out of trouble throughout the first three innings. He stranded a runner at third base in each of the first two innings, then left two more on in the third when he induced an inning-ending groundout to Ben Koshmider at second base.
The Pirates would touch the Cards for another run in the top of the fourth, when Ian Hershberger and Derek Briggs would hit back-to-back doubles to make it 2-0.
Miller would strand another Cardinals runner in scoring position in the bottom of the inning, getting a big strikeout to end the inning after an error allowed the runner to reach base.
The Pirates then came in and went to work, putting the outcome of the game away for good, touching up Sandy Valley starter Michael Roberts.
Micah VanFossen reached on an error, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on Miller’s RBI single. Trey Hershberger also reached via an error, and after Quinn Miller’s perfectly executed sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, Foster allowed them to leisurely walk home when he mashed a pitch well over the fence for a three-run home run to make it 6-0.
Sandy Valley quickly threatened with its best rally of the night, and with one out, the Cards collected three straight singles and a hit batter to produce a run. But just as he had done all night, Miller’s mound presence helped him escape any further damage, as he induced a comebacker to the mound. He fielded it, threw home to Ian Hershberger, who fired to first for a double play.
The Pirates tacked on its final run in the sixth, when B.J. Schwartz doubled and VanFossen followed suit.
Sandy Valley would again mount a threat in its final at bat, scoring one before Miller was again able to leave two men stranded by inducing a ground ball out to short to end the game.
For the Cardinals, shortstop Luke Kail had a monster game, banging out four of Sandy Valley’s nine hits, scoring twice and driving in a run and stealing two bases.
Garaway hammered out a dozen hits, including four doubles and the home run from Foster, who also doubled and drove in four runs on the night as he continued his torrid pace at the plate. VanFossen, Schwartz, Ian Hershberger and Trey Hershberger all collected a pair of hits in support of Miller’s mound effort. He went six strong innings, allowing the seven hits but limiting the damage to just one runs.