WHEELING - As a baseball coach, all you can ask for is to have your team be patient at the plate and your pitcher to throw strikes, let the other team put the ball in play and have the fielders record outs.
That is exactly the effort Martins Ferry baseball coach Anthony Reasbeck received Saturday afternoon as his team not only defeated previously unbeaten Linsly on the road, it dominated the Cadets.
Junior Lucas Lloyd went the distance allowing three hits on an efficient 82 pitches, while senior Connor Coup drove home three runs with a pair of singles as the Purple Riders blanked Linsly, 7-0, at breezy Holloway Field.
Callihan gets ready to throw a
pitch, while Nick Snyder looks on.
Neither team could mount much offense during the first three innings that saw only 60 pitches combined and 23 from Lucas. Ironically, Coach Jay Cartwright's Cadets (6-1) had two of their three hits during that time.
Linsly had the first best opportunity of the game on James Cartwright's leadoff double in the third, however, six pitches later the inning was over and Cartwright hadn't moved.
Ferry (3-1) plated the only run it needed in the fourth on a leadoff Marcus Sutton walk, Robert Vargo's fielder's choice and Coup's one-out single.
But it was the fifth inning that the Purple Riders bats really came to life and the visitors put the game away.
With a Seth Scott double sandwiched around a pair of walks, Martins Ferry loaded the bases with no outs. The first run came in on Brendon Baire's fielder's choice, with Scott getting thrown out at third from center field.
Sutton walked for the third time to load the bases again just ahead of Vargo's two-run double down the left-field line that made it a 4-0 count. Coup followed with a two-run single to right to give the Riders a six-run advantage.
While the Cadets never really threatened again, Ferry added a run on Luke Straub's pinch-hit single in the seventh.
"We preached to the kids that we hadn't played a complete game yet, but we just did," Reasbeck said with a smile. "This team has the potential to be very good, but we still have a long way to go.
"I have had this core group of kids for a while now, and they are beginning to understand hitting with the count. That was always the case, they were very undisciplined when they were younger.
"They did a very good job at the plate (Saturday), and we faced a couple of pretty good pitchers. When you play Linsly you better come out guns a blazin', because they are a very good, well-coached team. I am very happy with this win."
Reasbeck also had a rave review for his junior pitcher.
"I believe he is the most underrated pitcher in the entire Ohio Valley, bar none," Reasbeck said. "He is very efficient and has already won two games. He was also very good last year and not many people noticed."
Lloyd's effort did not escape Jay Cartwright's attention either.
"He did a very good job keeping us off-balance at the plate and changing his speeds," the coach said. "And the bottom line, is that they just out-played us.
"They threw more strikes, they played better defense, they hit the ball better and they won. We had a couple of base running mistakes early on, but it all adds up to this.
"Martins Ferry just plain didn't make any mistakes and their pitcher pitched a whale of a game. I thought they did a nice job at the plate also. Our pitchers were all around the plate, they were just disciplined."
Arien Seymour took the loss on the hill for Linsly while Logan Goodnight and Dillon Curtin each singled in a losing effort.