The Bruins senior went the distance in Saturday’s 7-1 victory over visiting Batesville (Ind.) in the 2015 Super Prep Series. He allowed just five hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out six Bulldogs.
Ballard coach David Trager said Wilson has had some up-and-down outings, but the pitcher has fought through that during the offseason.
“He’s done an outstanding job of fighting, of competing and staying with the process to make himself the best he can be,” Trager said.
Wilson also benefitted from some clutch hitting and solid defense as the Bruins (8-5-1), the No. 13 team in the state rankings, finally claimed a victory in the final day of the showcase. Jay Poullard went 4-for-4 at the plate, driving in three runs and scoring another. Sophomore Jordan Adell, a University of Louisville commit, had a double and an RBI triple in four at-bats, while Nick Jackson went 2-for-2 with a walk and two run scored.
Poullard, the leadoff hitter, got the offense started early as he led the Bruins first inning with a single and then advanced to second on a fielding error. The next batter, Michael Dwyer, plated him with a single.
In the third, Poullard made it 2-0 Ballard when he singled home Jackson. Adell’s triple later in the inning scored Dwyer and gave the Bruins a three-run lead.
Wilson, meanwhile, faced the minimum during his first three innings, but the Bulldogs (0-3) got to him in the fourth. He allowed a single to Wyatt Schebler and walked Zach Britton, another Cardinals commit, to start the frame. But Wilson got a break when his second baseman, Jackson, dove to stop Connor Schuck’s bouncing ball up the middle, turning what could have been a run-scoring single into a fielder’s choice.
Batesville’s pitcher, Jacob Wilson, would follow with an infield single that scored Schebler, and the Bulldogs would eventually load the bases with two outs. But Brandon Wilson got Leo Enneking to fly out to Poullard in right to end the threat.
The Ballard pitcher said Jackson’s play gave the team a much-needed boost, and the way the Bruins play defense helps him on the mound.
“It helps me calm and just relax,” he said. “Knowing that my team has got my back makes it a lot easier to sit there and just throw strikes.”
Poullard put the game away in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a two-out, two-run double to the gap in right center after he found what he wanted on the first pitch.
“I felt like I was seeing the ball well,” Poullard said. “So, in my head, I was thinking if I see a first pitch fastball down the middle, I’m going to swing at it no matter what, so I can try to break this game open.”
An inning later, Nick Lee would add another two-out, two-run double to finish the scoring.
Batesville came into the series shorthanded as senior pitcher Bryan Hoeing, who signed with U of L in the fall, is still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which he suffered in a high school basketball game in December. Bulldogs coach Alex Davis said he expects Hoeing to start playing next week.
Batesville, Ind. 000 100 0 – 1 5 2
Ballard 102 220 x – 7 10 2
WP – Brandon Wilson. LP – Jacob Wilson. 2B – Jay Poullard (Bal), Jordan Adell (Bal) , Nick Lee (Bal). 3B – Adell.