By Ryan Palencer
AVON — The Avon baseball team opened Class 4A, Sectional 11 action with a bang, as the Orioles defeated Pike, 11-0.
“I was very pleased,” Avon coach Troy Drosche said. “We did a nice job and had consistency though the lineup. We put the ball in play and put pressure on them. We did a nice job tonight.”
In addition to offensive explosion, Avon pitcher Tasker Strobel threw a one-hitter, allowing only three base runners. He threw four strong innings and struck out six.
“He has been very good for us all year and tonight he was really on it,” Drosche said. “He was hitting his spots. He was just great tonight.”
Strobel did not surrender a hit until the fifth inning, and that was a softly struck single.
The Orioles got off to a quick start in the top of the first as Cole Johnson led off the game with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Khristian Reynolds scored Johnson on a line drive that Pike pitcher Seth Hoffman was unable to snag.
In the top of the second, Justin Dunham led off with a walk. He then stole second and scored on an error. Tanner Brant scored on a sacrifice fly by Cole Bailey. Jake Smith then scored on a triple by Johnson to give the Orioles a 4-0 advantage.
The Orioles struck again in the top of the third as Chandler Sanburn led off the inning by reaching on an error before Reynolds and Brandt walked. Smith drove in Sanburn on a single to left and Bailey drove in Reynolds on a single to right. Brandt then scored on a wild pitch. Dylan Jones cleared the bases with a three-run triple and scored on an error to open the floodgates.
Drosche was pleased with the output from the plate and hopes to carry that momentum forward.
“(The offensive effort) is big for us,” he said. “We have had some trouble throughout the season producing throughout the line up. Tonight we were much better throughout and put some pressure on them and that was a big part of the win tonight.”
After Strobel gave up the single, Matt Moore came in and got the final three outs to close the door on Pike.
One bright spot for the Red Devils was the work of reliever Casey Werner, who threw 2 2/3 innings, allowing only an unearned run, while striking out six.
Avon will play Ben Davis following the Brownsburg/Southport game slated to begin at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day.