Sparta, MO (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Sparta took victory over Billings at home 3-2 in fall baseball action Tuesday night, with the help of sophomore Cole Iorg’s game winning hit in the bottom of the seventh. Trojan pitcher Jake Shipman pitched an absolute gem, ending the game with 15 strikeouts.
Undefeated Billings visited Sparta looking for another consecutive win, but was stopped in their tracks by southpaw pitcher Jake Shipman and his dominant start on the hill.
“Jake pitched an exceptional game for us; he shut them down with a good number of strikeouts. He did a great job getting ahead and working early. Overall, working the outside of the plate was key to his success. I’m very proud of him, and for the rest of our team,” Coach Mike Willis said. “Everyone stepped up today and fulfilled their role.”
The Spartans jumped on an early lead, scoring a run in both the second and third inning, but the lead would not last for long. Billings, known for their run production, tacked on two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at two.
The Wildcats would then face trouble in the bottom of the seventh, as Jake shipman snagged third after Chris Lafferty reached second on Dylan Davis’ intentional walk. Designated hitter Cole Iorg came to the plate with the bases loaded and only one out. The count was one ball and two strikes, when Iorg smacked a single into right center, scoring Shipman and grabbing a win for both the starter and the Trojans.
“I just tried to hit the ball and put it in play,” Iorg said. “With two strikes you have to protect, and if it’s there, you have to hit it. I just tried to keep calm and make contact. We played some solid defense tonight, and got people on base. That wouldn’t have been a winning hit without others contributing offensively.”
Willis in his sixth year coaching for his alum discusses Sparta’s win against Billings’ offensive powerhouse.
“Billings is a tough team, and we were shorthanded two starters due to cross-country tonight. The Wildcats have hung 13 runs here, 15 runs there, they know to how put the bat on the ball,” Willis said. “Cole did a great job coming through for us in the seventh. I was glad he was able to get the ball through the infield and keep it out of the air. Everyone had faith he could do it.”
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