HARROD — Landon Price is on the mound. Those six words can change any high school baseball game in the area.
The latest example was Lincolnview’s 6-2 win over Allen East on Monday on the Mustangs diamond when the Lancers junior left-hander threw a two-hitter, struck out 13, and after walking the first batter he faced, didn’t allow another walk the rest of the game.
“We feel very confident when he’s on the mound that we have a very good chance to win the ballgame,” Lincolnview coach Eric Fishpaw said.
Lincolnview raised its record to 12-4 overall and 5-0 in the Northwest Conference. The Lancers are the only unbeaten team in the NWC. Allen East is 13-5 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
Price, who committed to Ohio State as a sophomore, said he relied mostly on his fastball early in the game before his curve began working better.
“To start out with I was trying to overpower guys with my fastball. My curve ball didn’t come around until about the fifth inning. Once that came around it really helped me out a lot,” he said.
“Today it was a really nice day. It was easy for me to get warm and then stay warm throughout the entire game. On those days when it’s 50 degrees it’s kind of hard getting to that point and getting in your comfort zone.”
It was still a 1-1 game through five innings with Allen East pitcher Jordan Motter (8 strikeouts, 4 walks) holding Lincolnview to six hits in his 5 2/3 inning on the mound before the Lancers scored two run in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh inning.
Lincolnview loaded the bases in the second and third innings but Allen East escaped without giving up a run either time.
“We left them loaded a couple of times and left a couple other runners on base early in the game. But we’ve got a resilient bunch. If we’ve got a tight game we feel comfortable with it that we’re going to break through on their pitchers in the late innings,” Fishpaw said.
Lincolnview took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on a single by Brandon Renner, a ground out and a single by Collin Overholt, one of three hits in the game by the Lancers catcher. Allen East tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Motter singled and took second base on an error, then scored on another error.
It stayed that way until the sixth inning when Lincolnview scored two runs on a bases-loaded walk and an Allen East error.
Lincolnview got three more runs in the seventh inning when Caden Hanf doubled, Renner walked, Price tripled and Overholt hit a double. Allen East scored once in the bottom of the seventh when Braylen Kennedy singled, moved up on a ground out, then scored on an error.
“We had a little (pitchers) duel going on there for a while. Motter did what he needed to do to keep us in the game. He just got a little tired at the end. He was giving me everything he had. He gives us 100 percent all the time,” Allen East coach Abram Escamilla said.
“You have to tip your hat to Landon Price. Our kids took the challenge of a 92 or 93-mile an hour fastball or whatever he throws. I was proud of the boys when they didn’t give up when they got down. When you’re facing a pitcher like him it’s easy to do that,” he said.
Motter’s one-out single in the fourth inning broke up Price’s bid for a no-hitter, which would have been the first of his high school career.
“I’ve had a bunch of two-hit and one-hit games but haven’t had the no-hitter yet in high school,” Price said. “I’m looking for it, though.”