Jordan Young’s anticipation for his return to the mound built all day.
The McCutcheon junior couldn’t release that nervous energy during a day full of classes, so he unleashed it upon West Lafayette. Young allowed one single over five shutout innings while striking out 10, leading the Mavericks to a 10-0 victory on Wednesday.
“This whole day, I’ve been really excited to get back on the mound and pitch my heart out,” said Young, who retired 13 straight after Parker Ronchetto’s two-out single in the first inning. “I haven’t pitched since August, and I was just ready.”
Young struck out three in the first and two each in the second, third and fifth innings before yielding to reliever Braden Giroux. The right-hander went 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA last season, completing four of his seven starts, and has emerged as a strong No. 2 option next to Mavericks ace Justin Curry.
“When he’s on the mound, we know he’s going to shut the opposing team down,” said McCutcheon sophomore third baseman Mason Bruce, who went 2-for-2 with an RBI triple. “He knows what he’s doing, and he’s up there with confidence.”
Ronchetto, a teammate of Young’s on the Indiana Bulls and the Lafayette All-Stars, singled on an 0-1 pitch in the first. West Lafayette’s only other baserunner came in the sixth, when Brody Forbes reached on a wild third strike against Giroux.
West Side is breaking in several new varsity players after graduating nine seniors.
“Playing a tough team like this, we found out a lot of problems, because we had a lot of (mental) errors and there were a lot of strikeouts,” said Ronchetto, a junior shortstop.
Young helped himself with a solo home run on the first pitch of the fourth inning from West Lafayette starter Carson Cruea. He also had an RBI single during a six-run fifth that propelled the Mavericks to a 9-0 lead.
Logan Sowers ended the game with a leadoff home run in the sixth. Giroux went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored and Andrew Roginski went 2-for-2 with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly.
In addition to the power display, the Mavericks also executed a pair of hit-and-runs and stole three bases. Including Tuesday’s season opener against Twin Lakes, McCutcheon has outscored its opponents, 28-0.
“We’ve got a lot of different roles on this team,” Bruce said. “Jordan, Sowers, Justin Curry — they’ve got the power when we need it. They’ve also got base hits when we needed. Then we’ve got littler guys who can do the small ball and get stuff done.”