King pitches shutout

Published 12:03 am Friday, April 5, 2013

Opp’s Dakota King (33) pitches during the Bobcats 7-0 victory over Straughn Thursday night. King allowed no runs on four hits in the win. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp’s Dakota King (33) pitches during the Bobcats 7-0 victory over Straughn Thursday night. King allowed no runs on four hits in the win. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp’s Dakota King allowed no runs on four hits in a complete game 7-0 area victory over Straughn on Thursday night at Merchants Field.

King ruled the mound throughout the contest, only facing 25 batters in order and striking out five batters.

Behind King, the Bobcats’ defense played up to their potential, getting key outs in the first and sixth innings — on a force out at second from the catcher in the first, and an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

“When you throw strikes and play defense, then you’ve got a shot to win the game,” OHS coach Michael Cassady said.

Even though the score was a good one for Opp, the Bobcats could’ve put the game away in the fourth and fifth innings with runners on base. OHS left 10 runners on base in the contest.

Cassady said there were a few base-running mistakes made.

“We ran out of some innings,” he said. “(SHS) coach (John) Fussell is going to have them regrouped (today) and ready to go. He’s a good coach and he’s got some good players over there. We’ve got to come back out ready to play.”

With this win, the sixth-ranked Bobcats improve to 18-4 on the season, and only need to win one of the next two games (today) against Straughn in order to claim the area championship. The Tigers (14-12) will have to win two games today to win the area crown.

Fussell said his kids looked a little hesitant to make plays on the field.

“We looked like we were afraid to make a mistake,” Fussell said. “I want them to get after it. I want them to play not being afraid to make a mistake.”

Fussell said Opp’s got a good team, “but so do we.”

“Dakota threw a good game,” the Tigers’ coach said about Opp’s pitcher. “I thought we took too many pitches for strikes. We didn’t play up to our capabilities.

“(Today’s) a new day,” he said.

Straughn starter pitcher Chase Short, who got the loss for the Tigers, walked JoJo Jones with the bases loaded to score Zan Hollinghead, as the Bobcats went ahead 1-0.

Short got out of the jam, forcing Opp’s Jacob Johnson to fly out for the third out.

OHS added two runs in the second inning after King retired the side in the top half, when Brady Vidich — who reached on a walk — scored on Colt Harrell’s sac-fly to center; and Holt Hall’s ability to scoot home on a passed ball to give the Bobcats a 3-0 lead.

Ethan Davis started the third inning with a single and made it to second on a wild pitch from Short. Davis later scored on Jones’ RBI single with one out. Courtesy runner Britt Buckelew later scored on Hayden Nobles’ single; and Johnson made it in on a ground bout by Vidich to put OHS ahead 6-0 after three innings.

Opp’s three hits in the third inning propelled the Bobcats to end up having a 11-hit game.

“Give credit to our club,” Cassady said about the hits.

Opp scored its last run in the fourth when Johnson nailed a double that scored Davis all the way from second base.

Jones went 2-for-2 with two RBIs; Davis went 2-for-3; Johnson went 1-for-4 with an RBI: Nobles went 2-for-4 with an RBI; and Vidich went 0-for-2 with an RBI.

Short allowed five earned runs on five hits and walked two in his outing.

Straughn’s Lane Sirmon, Johnny Owens, Tucker Lawless and Rollin Kinsaul had one hit each for the Tigers.

The Bobcats and Tigers will be back in action today starting at 5 p.m. at SHS for an area doubleheader.