Garaway head coach Justin Elmore said his team struggled to put together many hits in a 12-2 victory over Tuscarawas Central Catholic because of the sheer number of walks the Pirates took and the errors committed by the Saints.
On Saturday, April 21, the reason for lack of hits went by a different name, and it as all about Cade Williams.
The hard-throwing Williams and Garaway’s Josh Yoder went toe to toe in a classic pitchers’ duel that featured just three hits, two from Indian Valley and one from Garaway.
However, the Braves were able to collect their two knocks in the same inning, and with the help of an error and a fielder’s choice that saw everyone reach base, Indian Valley hung a 2-1 loss on the Pirates to drop Garaway to 7-5 on the year.
From the beginning of the game, both pitchers showed true dominance. Williams retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, allowing only a walk to reach base, while Yoder was almost as good, allowing only a couple of runners on base on balls.
Garaway finally broke through for its only run in the top of the fourth inning. With one out Peyton Miller drew a four-pitch walk, stole second and raced home on Ryan Aleshire’s single to right. Garaway threatened to plate more. After Aleshire was forced out at second base on a Dylan Hershberger fielder’s choice, Bryce Bickford reached on a fielder’s choice, and Kory Stress was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, Williams showed plenty of gutsy by inducing an inning-ending ground out off the bat of Matthew Mullen.
The Braves responded to Garaway’s run quickly, coming back in the bottom of the fourth with their two tallies.
The inning began ominously for Garaway when Colbey McBeth reached on an error. Mason McKeown singled for the Braves’ first hit off of Yoder, and Karson Hatrick laid down a sacrifice bunt that saw Garaway not get any of the runners, loading the bases with nobody out. That was when Yoder dug deep. He struck out Tanner Myers, and Garaway got the second out when Miller gobbled up a grounder off the bat of Ryan Berger and fired home to Stress to record the out and keep the Braves off the score board. However, after getting Kyle Enos down 1-2 in the count, Yoder saw Enos lift a hit to right that plated both McKeown and Hatrick with the tying and go-ahead run.
That was all Williams needed as he bore down the rest of the way. He allowed only a one-out walk to Dylan Hershberger in the sixth inning to slam the door on the win for Indian Valley.
Yoder matched Williams pitch for pitch over the final three frames, but the two unearned runs were enough to send the Pirates to defeat.
Williams picked up the win by throwing 97 pitches in the complete-game effort. He allowed the one hit and the one run, struck out four, and walked three. Meanwhile, Yoder threw just 78 pitches in his complete-game performance. He allowed the two unearned runs on two hits, striking out four and walking three.
One day earlier the Pirates got another shut-out performance on the mound, this one in a 12-0 win over TCC in a road win. In that one it would be Auston Fearon picking up the win for the Pirates, hurling five shut-out innings, scattering five hits, and striking out six and walking three. Bickford came on in relief and threw two strong innings of two-hit ball to finish the shut-out.
The offense got on track early with single tallies in the first two innings and then came on big late to secure an easy win.
It took an error, two walks and Jace Briggs getting hit by a pitch to force in a run to produce the one run Garaway would need for the win.
Mullen singled to start the second inning after Fearon threw a perfect first, and he eventually came around to score on Trevor Donaldson’s sacrifice fly that made it 2-0.
The Pirates went quietly in the third and fourth innings, and the Saints threatened but couldn’t close the gap, leaving two runners on base.
It would be in the fifth inning that Garaway would finally start putting up crooked numbers to leave the Saints far behind.
Donaldson singled to start the inning. Miller then reached on an error, and Aleshire singled home a run. With runners on the corners, Aleshire and Miller performed a double steal to advance the Pirates’ lead to 4-0.
The Saints threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, putting two on with two outs, but a single to Dylan Hershberger saw him come up firing to the cut man, Yoder, who whirled and threw out the runner at home plate to keep the shut-out intact.
Mullen singled to start the sixth, and after Fearon laid down a sacrifice bunt, Trey Hershberger’s single and a walk to Donaldson loaded the bases with one out. Miller and Aleshire both drew bases-loaded walks, and Donaldson scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-0.
The Pirates tacked on four insurance runs in the seventh and did it all with two outs and nobody on base. After Yoder struck out and Mullen grounded out, Fearon walked, and Trey Hershberger’s fly ball was misplayed for an error to score Fearon. Donaldson reached on an error at shortstop, and Miller made it hurt by lashing a triple to make it 11-0. He scored moments later on a wild pitch to round out the Pirates’ scoring.
TCC actually out-hit Garaway seven to six, but the Saints committed a whopping seven errors and gave up eight free passes.