The Spokane Owls used the strong pitching performances of juniors Scott Ingersoll and Tanner Brown to defeat the Morrisville Panthers, 6-1, on Tuesday night. Ingersoll went five innings, striking out one and allowing three hits. Brown earned the save by striking out four in the final two innings.
The game started out as a pitcher’s duel between Ingersoll and Morrisville’s Dominic Canovi, as both pitchers would not allow a hit until the fourth inning. The fourth inning is where the wheels fell off for Morrisville. Spokane sophomore Austin Holt hit a one out triple. A strikeout and then an RBI single by Cody Terrell gave Spokane the lead. A strikeout of Matthew Sledge should have ended the inning but the catcher mishandled the ball and threw it away as Sledge reached first. Brown then hit a two RBI single to give Spokane four runs in the inning. That was all Ingersoll needed as he finished the fifth inning still allowing just one hit.
“I thought it went pretty well,” said Ingersoll. “I threw strikes; I had confidence in myself and confidence in my defense. There were a couple of minor errors that I knew we would get over. I threw all fastballs and had confidence in my catcher, he can frame really well.”
In the top of the seventh, Ingersoll was tiring, allowing Morrisville’s first two hitters to reach base. Spokane brought in their closer, Brown. Brown cruised through the last two innings, allowing just one unearned run while striking out four.
“We played as a team, we played for each other,” said Brown. “Lately, we haven’t been, but when we go out there and pick each other up we play a lot better. I knew I was going to come out and throw strikes. I knew our defense was on and I just knew they were going to back me up.”
The big blow of the night came in the fifth inning when Spokane junior Trenton Stone hit a two-run bomb to right field against a gusting wind. Stone had struck out his two previous at-bats and was frustrated with his performance.
“After the first at-bat I came over here and hit on the tee a little bit and tried to figure out what was going wrong,” said Stone. “I made contact in my second at-bat and struck out on a pitch that I didn’t think was in the zone. When the starting pitcher came out and the relief pitcher came in, I locked in and hit the first pitch and hit it over the fence.”
Morrisville coach Justin Crumpley was happy with his starting pitcher’s performance, who struck out eight batters in his four innings of work. Crumpley, though, was not pleased that his team gave up four unearned runs.
“We started out well, our starting pitcher started out strong, throwing strikes early, controlling the strike zone,” said Crumpley. “He went into the fourth inning and kind of lost his command a little bit. They ran into some balls and we were unable to make a defensive play behind him. It got a little bit away from us.
"Credit to their guys, they took really good at-bats and credit to their pitcher, he threw well, got ahead early in the count tonight, got lots of ground ball outs. He pitched well for them. We struggled hitting tonight, just had some issues getting things to go our way a little bit. Got ourselves in deep in the counts and put ourselves in defensive mode and didn’t get the job done. They played better than us.”
Spokane has struggled to find their way this season but tonight played what coach Tom Colvin called their best game of the season.
“We played together as a team, played defense, we pitched, did everything that baseball is about,” said Colvin. “I was really proud of Zack Robertson, a freshman. Chandler Brown is out for us right now and Zack came in and did a great job. There were a couple plays that were tough on him but right off the bat he made a big play for us. We had a lot of confidence in him coming in, he’s done a really good job in the JV games and we’re really proud of him. Our pitching was great. Scott Ingersoll does a great job throwing strikes. When he’s on the mound, that’s our best defensive team so we usually play pretty well behind him. Tanner Brown came in and locked it down. When you throw strikes you give yourselves a chance to win a game.”
Morrisville 1 Spokane 6
Morrisville 000 001 0 — 1
Spokane 000 420 x — 6