Making the routine play never gets major headlines but it was the Indians’ solid fielding that helped Shawnee pick up a 9-1 win over St. Marys in a Western Buckeye League clash Friday.
With the win, Shawnee improves to 3-1 in the league and 11-2 overall. St. Marys falls to 1-4 in the WBL and 8-8 for the season.
Shawnee starter Caden Vermillion picked up the win on the mound and often times looked solid in his outing but found himself weaving in and out of trouble and it was his defense that got him out of tight situations.
“i thought Kaden got a lot of sharper after the first inning as far as getting ahead of hitters and getting pitchers’ counts but yea the kids played good defense behind him,” Indians head coach Chad Spencer said. “We keep enforcing to just throw strikes in high school baseball and give your defense a chance.”
In all but the final frame, St. Marys placed runners on base and in the five of those six innings, had runners in scoring position, often times with one or no outs but the Indians’ defensive effort prevented the big inning from the Roughriders..
Vermillion finished the game, going six innings, and scattered four hits while fanning six and giving up one run and that came in the third on an errant throw in one of the rare mistakes for the Indians on the night.
St. Marys head coach Adam Graves said getting the big hit has been an issue for the Roughriders throughout the season.
“That has been our problems in games that we have struggled in,” Graves said. “We have done a decent job of getting guys on base and have struggled to get the big base when we needed it. We have had a problem of guys trying to do too much.
“We were in a situation where we were competitive and that score is maybe a little misleading in the aspect of it was 5-1 going into that six inning and then we miss a ground ball and it kind of sets it up and gives them a little bit of a momentum.”
While Shawnee’s defense was getting the job done, the Roughriders had made several miscues that led to a run in the first, three in the third, one in the fourth and three in the sixth innings.
Leading the way at the plate for Shawnee was Jarin Bertke, who finished the night going 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and two runs scored. It was Bertke’s ringing double to the right field gap that highlighted the Indians’ three-run third inning. The senior also came through with a two- out single to drive in a run.
Vermillion helped his cause offensively, going 1 for 2 with two base on balls and 3 runs scored.
“Bertke had a clutch night and in baseball you always talk about putting pressure on the defense and that comes from putting the ball in play a lot tonight and got a couple of clutch hits. Being picky you always want more guys in risp (runners in scoring position) but we will take it and get better from that.”
Offensively for the Roughriders Adam Tobin was 1 for 2 with a run scored.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.