WEST PORTSMOUTH — Scoring at-least two runs in each of the first four innings, the Valley Indians took early control and held on for a shutout in their win over West in SOC II play.
The 12-0 decision — the Indians’ fourth victory in five tries since last Friday — improved their overall mark to 5-3 (4-1 SOC II), while West fell to 3-5 (1-4 SOC II).
Valley collected nine hits as a team and had three players finish with two RBI apiece — seniors Breckon Williams and Nick Mowery and junior Chase Morrow being the trio who drove in a pair of runs.
Seven different Indians had a hit and eight reached base as head coach Nolan Crabtree credited his players’ approach to the plate in their success against West and in their last week of games.
“Our approach at the plate was great today. Really hit the ball well after a little bit of help with a hit batter and an error,” Crabtree said. “Didn’t strike out a lot, didn’t hit the ball in the air. Lot of ground balls, line drives and we put the ball in play.”
Valley sophomore George Arnett earned the win in the five inning outing on just 58 pitches, allowing two hits and striking out five Senator batters.
“George has been a stud, he’s done everything we’ve asked for,” Crabtree said. “Pounded the strike zone and moves it in and out. Very polished pitcher for his age.”
The Indians’ defense aided in their win also as eight of West’s 15 outs were recorded by either groundout or flyout.
“Played spectacular defense today. (Andrew) Andronis at short stop made a few throws that were on point, (Jace) Copley behind the plate threw a couple of guys out, Carter (Nicke;_ made a great catch in the outfield. Total team effort today from our guys, even guys we brought in off the bench.”
West’s Luke Howard was credited with the loss, being tallied for seven earned runs on eight hits and two walks in three and two-thirds innings pitched.
Luke Bradford and Tanner Cantrell had a single apiece as the only West batters to reach via hit.
Valley has a stretch of games coming up this week that will likely determine how strong of a contender they are for the top spot in the SOC II race.
As of Friday and seeing Minford’s win over Wheelersburg, each of the top four in the league race have one loss, including those two, Valley, and Waverly.
Beginning Monday, Valley jumps right into a three-game in three-day stretch in which they’ll host Minford, host Clay, and travel to Oak Hill. On Friday, the Indians will host Waverly in another top-four matchup.
“We’ve ourselves in a position where all of our goals are still in front of us,” Crabtree said. “When you see the league, there’s some darn good pitching. Teams, depending on the night, can beat anybody. Real tough stretch to see where we are as a team. Not make or break, but we can put ourselves in a good spot to reach our goals we set as a team with a good week this week.”
Valley: 2 2 4 4 0 — 12 9 1
West: 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 2 5
W: Arnett (V), L: Howard (W)
George Arnett (V): 5 IP, 2H, 0ER, 5Ks, 0 BB, 3HBP
Luke Howard (W): 3.2 IP, 8H, 7ER, 2Ks, 2BB, 2HBO
Jacob Davis (W): 1.1 IP, 1H, 0ER, 0Ks, 0BB
Andrew Andronis 0-3, 2R
Breckon Williams 2-4, 2R, 2RBI
Hunter Edwards 1-3, R, RBI
Wesley Holbrook 1-1
George Arntett 2-4, R
Blake Wood 0-2, R
Chase Morrow 1-3, 2R, 2RBI
Carter Nickel 0-1, 2R, BB
Nick Mowery 1-1, 2RBI
Colt Buckle 1-1, R, BB
Luke Bradford 1-3
Tanner Cantrell 1-2
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved