Nichirin meets the challenge
Solid pitching, timely hitting result in easy win
It was an early season big game for Nichirin, not wanting to fall further back in the standings behind first place Clint's Air Care.
Nichirin came into its Thursday night's contest versus A-Plus Collision Center two games behind unbeaten Clint's Air Care and thanks to a solid pitching performance from Hunter Huarez and some timely hitting, Nichirin came away with a relatively easy 8-0 win.
Haurez did not allow a hit in four innings of work on the mound, struck out six and walked one A-Plus batter in the five-inning run-rule win.
Blake Distelow pitched the fifth inning for Nichirin and gave up an infield single to Matthew McCormick.
Huarez also had a two-run single in the big, six-run third inning for Nichirin that put the game on ice.
Nichirin scored first, beginning with Distelow reaching base on a one-out error in the bottom of the second inning.
First to score
Distelow stole second base before Kolton Fitch walked and they both wound up scoring on consecutive wild pitches by A-Plus starter Mitchell Ford, making it 2-0.
Ford, who struck out eight and walked two Nichirin batters, gave up four hits in the game, but three of them occurred in the fateful third inning.
Mike Dunnavan drew a leadoff walk in the top of the third inning for A-Plus, but was quickly erased on a line-drive double-play back to Huarez on the hill.
With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Tez Allen walked and Jacob Harris followed with a base hit to left field.
Both Nichirin runners moved up on a wild pitch before Huarez delivered a two-run single, making it 4-0.
Jacob Autry doubled to drive in Huarez and Joseph Freeland walked before Distelow roped a triple to right field, clearing his teammates off the bases and giving Huarez an 8-0 lead.
A-Plus got their leadoff batter on base in the top of the fourth inning via a Nichirin error, but Huarez got the next three batters out on a strikeout, a snag over the fence of a fly ball in foul territory by Distelow at first base and a pop-up to Thomas Beardsley at second base.
Ford set down Nichirin 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth before Distelow came on to close out the contest.
A-Plus 000 00-0 10
Nichirin 026 00-8 41
A-Plus: Matthew McCormick 1-for-2.
Nichirin: Jacob Harris 1-for-2, Hunter Huarez 1-for-2, Jacob Autry 1-for-2, Blake Distelow 1-for-2.
RBI: Hunter Huarez 2, Blake Distelow 2, Jacob Autry 1.
WP: Hunter Huarez
LP: Mitchell Ford