BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — Anthony Wayne baseball coach Mark Nell was concerned that his team was cursed whenever they traveled to Sylvania to face Northern Lakes League foe Northview.
If so, the curse was snapped on April 12, when the Generals routed the Wildcats, 9-1, as four AW players combined for 10 hits.
“It’s always interesting when you come over here,” said Nell. “They are a good team, they are well-coached and they play hard, so we just got on top and then we kept it (the lead).”
In addition, Garret Pike learned just that morning that he would be pitching after scheduled starter Ty Roder was taken to the hospital with appendicitis.
Roder, who has already pitched a no-hitter and complete-game one-hitter this season, underwent successful surgery later that day.
“Hopefully, he’s OK as a person and hopefully we can get him back,” said Nell, who says they should know more on his return next week.
Pike stepped in for his starting rotation mate and got the job done – and not just on the mound.
“When I got the text this morning that Ty’s appendix burst this morning and I was going to be starting, I said, ‘Oh, no,’” he said.
At the plate, Pike hit a two-run homer well over 380 feet to straight center field in the fourth inning and doubled with two RBI. He said he got the perfect pitch for his dinger.
“It was a 3-and-1 fastball, high and away,” Pike said. “I was sitting on a fastball, was ready for it, up in the zone and I just went with it. It felt good off the handle.”
On the mound, Pike threw a complete-game three-hitter, striking out four, walking three and giving up one earned run.
He threw 112 pitches, including 59 for strikes, and got six groundouts and nine flyouts in facing 28 batters.
“Garret is going to compete and that’s not always easy when you don’t know until the morning-of that you are throwing,” Nell said.
“That’s the second time we have done that to him this year. Garret did not let them get anything back – no momentum.”
Pike said he had some help from his team on both sides of the ball.
“The defense played great, Conner (Holck) made some amazing plays, ‘E.A.’ (Evan Anderson) was covering down on third and I think overall we played a great game,” Pike said.
Chase Saneholtz went 3-for-3, Evan Ruhe was 3-for-5 with two RBI and Anderson went 2-for-4. Saneholtz also had two stolen bases, Holck had one and Gerken had a sacrifice fly.
Noah Sample hit a run-scoring double to center field in the sixth inning for AW and Alex Gerken, despite not getting a hit, also had two RBI.
Northview pitching gave up 10 walks, including six by starter Johnathan Ray, who struck out two and allowed six hits. He also gave up the homer to Pike.
Alex Prymas went 1.2 innings for the Wildcats, striking out two, walking two and allowing two hits and no runs.
Jared Matuszewski closed for Northview, walking two and allowing three hits and two runs over two innings.
Riley Ames doubled for the ‘Cats and Benny Seals and Braden Tackett added base hits.