ARCANUM – In a blazing hot sun that baked the outfield grass and the infield’s dirt, there was nothing more scorching than the pitching pyrotechnics of senior Austin Baker.
The Arcanum right hander pitched a complete game four-hitter with five strikeouts, giving up only one walk. The four hits he did give up were of the singles variety all on 83 pitches in a 3-1 win over always competitive Russia from Shelby County.
The Trojans also won the second game of the doubleheader 2-0 and improved to 9-2.
In the opening game of the doubleheader Russia dented the scoreboard in the top of the first inning for its one and only score by plating leadoff hitter Monnin, who stole second and third base and then came in on a sacrifice fly for the opportunistic Raiders.
However, Arcanum came back to double the tally by putting up two markers with senior Cole Burrell leading off with a single and coming in off senior Jordan Dubbs’ RBI single. Conner Pohl, another senior who is a recent Ohio State signee, scored on pitcher Austin Baker’s single to double the score after one excitable inning.
The second and third innings produced no score, which led up to the bottom of the fourth when Arcanum picked up another valuable run to produce the game’s final run.
Austin Baker again helped his own cause by lacing a leadoff double in between the center and left fielders. Nate Kubik sliced a grounder to third that was as hard to handle as figuring out the Rubik’s Cube, enabling Austin Baker to advance to third on the groundout. Steven Vanatta laced a grounder to first that the first baseman overthrew to the pitcher, allowing Baker to cross the plate to get the all-important two-run advantage.
The fifth, sixth and seventh innings for the Raiders and Trojans remained in a stalemate as Austin Baker got timely defense and threw strategically on the mound as he only faced 12 batters the last three innings, four in each canto.
“’Austin Baker came to play both on the mound and at the plate as he was 2 of 3 at the dish,” Arcanum coach Randy Baker said. “This was his first outing of the year and did not show any rust at all after the first inning. This was a good defensive performance also as we only committed one error. We were aggressive at the plate, and that is a good omen for future games. I really like the doubleheader format as that gives us a chance to experiment with different pitchers.”
In the second game Arcanum scored both of the game’s runs in the bottom of the third. The Trojans had three hits and one error while the Raiders had three hits and no errors.
Austin Baker went 1-for-3 with a RBI in game two. Burrell and Hunter Saunders also had hits.
Mitchel Wogoman picked up the win, and Cody Meeks earned the save.