GREENVILLE – The Greenville varsity baseball team played host to the Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks at Sater Park Saturday, winning 4-0 to move to 6-3 on the season.
“I think we are getting closer and closer to putting everything together,” Greenville varsity coach Eric Blumenstock said. “We can hit. The kid (Zach Armstrong) we faced today did a nice job and kept the ball in the strike zone. We made a lot of contact. We’re just not finding holes. It’s been a couple games now we are not finding holes.”
The Green Wave brought sophomore A.J. Bowers up from the junior varsity squad to give the varsity pitchers some needed rest.
“Every year I try to loosen the schedule up a little at the beginning of the year, and then it rained,” Blumenstock said. “It’s been a couple busy weeks. We haven’t had many days off. I’m tired, and if I’m tired they have to be tired. I’m not even out there playing.”
Greenville senior third baseman Cole Ward led the Wave with two hits as the Hawks’ Armstrong limited the Green Wave to five hits on the day.
Bowers responded with a complete game shutout, striking out eight including the final two hitters of the game while allowing just three hits by the visitors.
“AJ Bowers made his first start this year,” Blumenstock said. “The sophomore came up from JV and threw a heck of a game. First complete game we’ve had all year, a complete game shutout. He really put a lot of effort in. His curveball was great, fastball was in the right spot … proud of the kid.”
The Hawks got a leadoff single off the bat of Trent Gilbert and a steal only to be stranded at second with a Bowers strikeout, a lineout to Quinton Wood in center and a groundout to Ward at third ending the inning.
“It’s been pitching and defense for us,” Blumenstock said.
Greenville took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with an opening walk to Wood and a steal, a Ward single followed with a sacrifice fly to left scoring Wood for a 1-0 Wave lead.
A steal of third by Ward and a Ryan Eldridge single to center scored Ward for a 2-0 lead.
Eldridge swiped second and scampered home on a passed ball, putting Greenville up 3-0 after one complete.
Two Bowers second-inning strikeouts and a groundout to Ward had the Blackhawks going down in order in the top of the second.
The Wave added run No. 4 in the bottom of the third inning with a Colton Nealeigh single to center followed with steals of second and third, scoring on a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Ryan Eldridge.
A solid Greenville defense gave up one error in the contest while Reece Hunt threw out a Hawks attempted steal of second, two pickoffs at first from his catching position and a pickoff of a Mississinawa runner at third. Bowers also contributed a pickoff from the mound.
The Blackhawks played a very respectable defensive game, giving up just three errors.