By R. Alan Richardson
Ethan Stamps put forth one of his best career efforts on the mound this week for Coach Merritt Ainslie’s baseball team. The senior has accounted for both of the team’s wins (2-6 overall). His control and command of pitches in his arsenal was impeccable.
Through the first three innings, the big right-hander had faced a minimum of nine batters, striking out four. A runner did reach on a single in the third stanza, but catcher Will Harper nailed the runner trying to steal on a perfect throw that gave him no chance. Stamps ended the complete game with 11 K’s, four hits, and didn’t allow a run scored until a triple in the seventh inning.
The Dogs got a run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. That run was mostly manufactured by the speed of Triston Stapp. The left fielder singled on a deep grounder in the five-six hole that many would have been thrown out on. He promptly stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. The speedster then scored on a high chopper to short by Brandyn Batchelor who was credited with the RBI.
The Dogs scored again in the next frame when Harper singled. The pinch runner was sacrificed to second on a nice bunt by Luke Knight. Seth Robertson walked and the two runners moved up on stolen bases. Evan Beals walked to load the bases before two more consecutive walks to Stapp and Stamps pushed two runs across to put the Dogs ahead 3-0.
They scored one more run in the fifth. Dominic Arienzo got things started with a walk. He moved to second on a balk and Harper came through again with a single. Arienzo eventually scored on a wild pitch to give the home squad and Stamps a comfortable 4-0 cushion.
The Eagles did mount a charge in their final at-bat. An uncharacteristic walk from Stamps followed by a triple in the right centerfield gap proved to be the first run scored on Stamps this season in his two complete game outings. The final out was a highlight reel play from shortstop Arienzo. He roamed far to his left behind second base and scooped up a hot shot up the middle before diving to tag a runner from first for the defensive jewel of the night.
Depending on all this crazy weather and reschedules we may not know about, the Diamond Dogs are scheduled to play Hart County at home Mar. 6. The double header Region 8-AAA contest will have a first pitch of 5:00 p.m.