Alex Hintze turned in another impressive effort for an Oshkosh North starter and the Spartans strung together three straight hits in the third inning for their only runs in a 2-0 win over Kimberly at E.J. Schneider Field on Thursday.
Hintze threw a three-hit shutout and struck out six in the win as Spartan starters have allowed just four earned runs in five games this season.
“Our pitching staff has been really solid in five games,” North coach Troy Schaefer said. “When you have great pitching and great defense, you’re always going to have a chance to be in those close games.”
Hintze did run into some tight spots along the way, pitching around back-to-back walks to start the second inning, while getting out of a first and second with one out situation in the third.
In the sixth, the Papermakers again had runners at first and second with one out, but Hintze fanned the next two batters to keep Kimberly scoreless.
The Spartans only managed four hits off of Kimberly starter Brice Swick, but three of them came with one out in the third inning.
Alex Madden, North’s No. 8 hitter, one-hopped the wall for a double and then scored when Sam Hawley drilled another double down the left-field line.
Hintze then followed with a single to score Hawley for the 2-0 lead.
“Every successful team in Wisconsin, their 7-8-9 hitters are critical,” Schaefer said. “Sam could easily be our lead-off hitter, but he’s been willing to fill a role for us and he has done a great job of delivering in clutch situations.”
Kimberly…000 000 0 — 0 3 0
Oshkosh North…002 000 x — 2 4 1
WP: Alex Hintze (7 IP, 5 BBs, 6 Ks). LP: Brice Swick (6 IP, 0 BBs, 4 Ks).
Leading hitters: KIM — Scott Schreiber 2×4. ON — Alex Madden 2B; Hintze RBI; Hawley 2B, RBI.