By Jason Haddix
For The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
Pitching was on tap during the Day 1 games of the 2013 Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament on Tuesday at Pendleton Heights.
Game 1 featured an 11-0 Frankton win, while Pendleton Heights dazzled the home fans with a 10-0 victory in the nightcap, both ending after five innings of action.
Frankton junior Logan Weins baffled the Elwood hitters during his three scoreless innings on the mound. Over his first two innings of work, Weins struck out six of the first seven batters he faced.
“We thought all pitchers would be ahead of the hitters,” Frankton coach Greg Hughes said. “We told him to throw a lot of fastballs at first because it is a low pitch count this early in the season. He threw strikes and did an excellent job, and their bats had trouble catching up to him.”
Weins followed the gameplan Hughes set for him as he tossed 48 pitches, 36 of which were strikes.
“I was just trying to get on top of the hitters,” Weins said. ”I figured it was the first game of the season and the batters were going to be rusty.”
Weins, along with T.J. Eads, combined to limit the Panthers to three hits, while the Eagle offense pounded out 11 hits and was led by senior Trevor Hughes who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
“We were really surprised how we came out and hit the ball,” Hughes said. “Anytime you come out and hit the ball like that in your first game, especially not being outside, is great.”
Down 3-0, Elwood’s defense failed them as they committed two errors that led to Frankton’s seven-run third inning, which essentially put the game away as the Eagles advanced to play Liberty Christian Wednesday at Pendleton Heights with first pitch at 5 p.m.
Senior Taylor Rodgers turned in a similar pitching performance for the Arabians as he tossed a five-inning complete game shutout by striking out eight and allowing just one hit.
“The objective was to go out there and get ahead on the batters with first-pitch strikes,” Rodgers said. “I started off with fastballs to get ahead and then finished them off with another pitch.”
Rogers said he has spent the past couple month throwing and that the batter may not have had the same luxury.
The Argylls’ lone hit came off the bat of sophomore Cameron Myers in the first inning.
Unlike the opening game winners, PH struggled to put the ball in play cleanly as it was able to muster just three hits.
“A win is a win, but it was very ugly,” Pendleton Heights coach Travis Keesling said. “We have to find a way to make better in-game adjustments.”
The ugliness came by way of eight Argylls errors, six hit batsman, six passed balls and two wild pitches, which let to six unearned runs for PH.
“Coach tells us to try to get on base any way we can,” said PH sophomore Thomas Hall, who was hit twice.
Pendleton Heights’ win earned it a trip to Thursday’s semifinal game on its home field against the winner of the Liberty Christian-Frankton game today.