After most of the week off due to the wet spring weather, the Peebles Indians baseball squad returned to action last Thursday and Friday and in those two days proved that pitching can be the name of the game. In two games, the Indians pitchers did not allow a single earned run, but with an offensive letdown on Friday that effort was only good for a split of the two games, a win over Eastern and a tough loss to Whiteoak.
When senior Brady Johnson is on the hill for the Indians, it seems that the chances of winning multiply exponentially and that was the case on Thursday as Johnson took the mound on the home field in a Southern Hills Athletic Conference match up with the Eastern Warriors. As he has done all spring, Johnson threw another gem, allowing the Warriors just six hits and no earned runs as the Indians picked up a 9-1 win.
“It was a great all-around game today,” said Peebles head coach Judd Johnson. “We managed to put nine runs on the board, most of those coming in that big second inning.”
The second inning that Johnson spoke of was the biggest offensive frame all season for Peebles, as they pounded Eastern pitching for eight runs. The Indians got two RBI’s in the big inning from Tyler Fenner, and one each from Johnson, Clay Brown, Jacob Lightner, Alex Seaman, Lane Hanson, and Joe McElwee.
That was all the offensive support that Johnson needed on the mound and for good measure, the Indians added a run in the fifth on the Peebles’ pitcher’s sacrifice fly. The Indian right hander fired six shutout innings and only gave up one run, that scoring on an error in the top of the seventh. He struck out six and walked just one as the Indians picked up a nice SHAC win. The Peebles offense produced a big day with 13 hits.
“Alex Seaman had huge day at the plate with three hits as did John Penn,” said Coach Johnson. “Everybody in the lineup got quality at-bats and defensively we made some nice plays. Brady was super on the mound again with another complete game effort against a good hitting Eastern team.”
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Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Seaman 3-1-3-1, R. Brown 2-1-0-0, Johnson 3-1-1-2, Fenner 4-1-1-2, Penn 4-1-3-1, Hanson 3-1-2-1, McElwee 4-0-1-1, C. Brown 3-2-1-1, Lightner 3-1-1-1, Team 29-9-13-10.
Peebles Pitching: Johnson (W) 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
On Friday, the Indians were right back on their home field for more SHAC action, hosting the Whiteoak Wildcats. It was the ultimate definition of a “pitcher’s duel” as Peebles’ John Penn and Whiteoak’s Jacob Burns matched each other pitch for pitch and put zeroes on the board.
Penn went five scoreless frames for Peebles, giving up just one hit and striking out four in his best outing of the season, but unfortunately the Peebles offense that had been so productive the day before had their bats silenced to the tune of only three hits by the Wildcats’ Burns.
After Penn’s five innings of work, Ryan Brown came on in relief and fired a scoreless sixth but the visiting Cats got to him for the game’s only run in the top half of the seventh, that coming on a bases loaded walk after an error that would have gotten the Indians out of the inning unscathed. Peebles could not push the tying run across in the bottom of the seventh as Whiteoak pulled out the 1-0 win.
Pitching ruled the day as the two teams combined for just five hits, with Burns throwing a complete game three-hit shutout for the Wildcats and Brown taking the tough loss for Peebles.
“We played really well defensively today and got a great pitched game from Josh and Ryan, but we just did not hit the ball very well,” said Coach Johnson. “Alex Seaman had a great game on defense and Clay Brown made a great catch in the outfield.”
“This was just a good baseball game. Even though we came up on the short end of the scoreboard, I think we can build on this type of team effort.”
After the Friday game, the Indians stood at 3-7 on the season and were on the road at Manchester on Monday, at home with North Adams on Tuesday, and at home with Fayetteville tomorrow as the team tries to get all its regular season contests in before next week’s tournament play.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
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Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Seaman 2-0-1-0, R. Brown 2-0-1-0, Johnson 3-0-0-0, Fenner 3-0-0-0, Penn 3-0-1-0, Hanson 3-0-0-0, McElwee 3-0-0-0, C. Brown 2-0-0-0, Lightner 1-0-0-0, Behr 2-0-0-0, Team 24-0-3-0.
Peebles Pitching: Penn 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K
R. Brown (L) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K