WEST ALEXANDRIA – Mississinawa Valley’s baseball game against the Twin Valley South Panthers was a defensive struggle. At least it was in the early going.
But the Blackhawks got an early lead, and after a shaky first inning, Matt Slob bore down and held the Panthers to just two hits and no runs for a shutout victory, 5-0. He would pitch all seven innings.
“The boys played great tonight,” Mississinawa Valley coach Max Guillozet said. “Matt Slob pitched one heck of a game. He pitched the entire seven innings, and he had two, three pitch innings. That is almost unheard of.”
The wind was blowing in from the outfield – so any fly ball hung up the air for an easy out so most of the hitting was singles with few extra base hits. It was small ball for sure that evening.
The Panthers made their best threat in the first inning. With two outs Ryan Bassler got as far as third base after singling. But the defense stepped up and got the third out before any damage could be done.
And the defense was stellar led by Trent Collins, who had several great plays deep in the hole at shortstop to throw out South batters.
Mississinawa only had one error on the night, which is very respectable for a high school team, particularly when you take into the account the damp and cold conditions. With temps in the mid-40s and dropping, it is difficult to grip a hardball.
“Our defense was solid all night; I think we had one error,” Guillozet said. “Other than that you couldn’t ask for more from a team. Collins had to have made seven or eight really good plays at shortstop.”
Offensively, the Blackhawks scored their first run in the first inning but could have done more damage as they left the bases loaded. Zac Longfellow was the leadoff hitter and did his job at that No. 1 position as he scored that run in the first then scored again in the fifth to make it a 2-0 game.
The Blackhawks got some insurance runs in the sixth, and of course it was Longfellow who crossed the plate first in the inning as they would score two more to make it a 5-0.
After a day off the team has three consecutive games beginning with Arcanum on Thursday.
“When you play Arcanum you have to take into account their coach, Randy Baker. He is one of the top coaches in the league,” Guillozet said. “Anytime you go to Arcanum and play Randy Baker you have to be on your game.”
Longfellow had three singles and one RBI on Tuesday. Trent Collins had two singles, a double and three RBIs. Max Dirmeyer had a single. Ethan Bowman had one RBI.