Looney hurls Nichirin to shutout win
The boys from Nichirin were a little overheated after being upset Monday by A-Plus Collision in a loss that dropped them from being tied for first with the Elks to one game back, but in Thursday's first game of the Babe Ruth League twin bill they came back vigorously, shutting out Marshall Medical Center 8-0.
Nichirin lefty David Looney went to the hill and got the win for manager Justin McQueen's squad, turning in a yeoman's effort in four innings of shut-out ball before Jalen Jones came in to record the save with a 1-2-3 fifth.
The win sets up an all out battle for first place Monday night when Nichirin and the Elks square off with first place and the number seed on the line for the upcoming league tournament on June 19th.
Dylan McKnight was a one man wrecking crew for Nichirin at the plate, driving in all four of his RBI's in the game in the first two innings to spark his squad to a 6-0 lead that held up behind Looney and Jones.
Cameron Isley had a perfect 3-3 night at the dish and a solid game in the field at first base for Nichirin.
Catcher Zack Richards fought the heat behind the dish, but he had plenty of energy remaining to swing the bat in a 2-3 effort with three runs scored.
Cody Blackburn (two RBI's), Matt Sharp (2 runs and a walk), and Looney all had one hit.
Lane Whitsell, Hunter Thomas, Connor Bush, and Zack Kirby had one hit apiece for MMC.
Zach Gordon started on the mound for MMC and ran into some tough first inning luck as his defense was not sharp to start the game and four unearned crossed the plate before the frame was over.
McKnight drove home two in the first with a double and came back in the second with a bases loaded two-run single to right field that scored Sharp and Richards.
Gordon shut out Nichirin over the next three innings before leaving the hill in the fifth.
Looney faced just twenty batters in his four innings of work, surrendering just the four hits while striking out four and walking three batters.
Blackburn's two-run double in the sixth ended the run rule game.