SYCAMORE The Bucyrus Redmen will go as far their pitching takes them.
If Gavin Lewis’ performance on the mound is any indication, the Redmen could contend in the Northern 10 Conference race.
Lewis went the distance Friday, striking out six and walking two as Bucyrus defeated the Mohawk Warriors, 4-3, in an N10 contest.
“Gavin is a pitcher,” Bucyrus coach Sean Maudsley said. “He nibbles and doesn’t always throw a strike because he doesn’t want to throw a strike. He works the batter.”
Austin Shock nearly matched Lewis. Shock fanned 10 and walked only one, while surrendering seven hits, which would result in a win on most days.
“He pitched well enough to win,” Mohawk coach Eric Hoover said. “We got 11 hits, we just couldn’t get enough of them together.”
One big inning — the first — by Bucyrus (4-3, 2-1 N10) was Shock’s undoing.
The Redmen bunched four of their seven hits in the frame. Tommy Schluter led the game off with a single and stole second. With one out, Keegan Simms singled Schluter home and moved up on the throw to the plate.
With two outs, Gavin Lewis plated Simms with a single and Dylan Mutchler singled home Lewis.
“Our approach at the plate has been really good lately, to strat off,” Maudsley said. “I thought we watched too many third strikes later on but overall, the approach was good.”
Mohawk (2-1, 2-1) trimmed the deficit to one with a two-run second. Alex Jeffrey singled to lead off and stole second. One out later, Dom Smith brought him home on a single. Zach Dyer singled and Carson Weinandy was safe on an error to bring in the second run. Shock singled but Dyer was out at the plate trying to score.
“I got a little aggressive or we might have had a bigger inning,” Hoover said. “And we made a couple of mental errors in the first, letting their runners move up or they might not have scored three.”
The Redmen got an insurance run in the third. Zane Richardson was safe on an error, Simms forced him at second, but scored on a two-out single by Lewis.
The Warriors got a run in the bottom of the seventh, but left the potential tying and winning runs stranded. Mohawk left 10 runners in all, at least one in every inning.
Lewis supported his own cause with two hits and two runs batted in for Bucyrus. Schluter, Simms, Muctchler, Richardson and Nick Kohler singled.
Shock, Jeffrey and Dyer had two hits for the Warriors. David Dietrich, Austin Harper, Derek Sowers, Luke Gillig and Smith each had one safety. There were no extra base hits for either team.
“Shock is a very good pitcher, one of the best in the league,” Maudsley said. “He’s very accurate. It was good that we could have a big inning early.”
“This is our third one-run game,” Hoover said. “I think we’ll have a lot of these in the league. It’s important to do the little things. Any play can make a difference in the outcome.”