Nick Hertz’ near-perfect game led St. Stanislaus to a 7-1 win over East Central in Region 8-4A Friday.
The senior lefthander scattered nine hits, striking out 10 batters, to pick up his fourth win in five decisions. At the plate, Hertz was 4-for-4 with three RBIs.
“That’s what we expect from him,” said Rockachaws coach Mark Logan. “We expect that type of effort and performance from him. He was not setting them up for big innings and when they did get someone in scoring position, he made some big pitches.”
East Central scored their run in the third inning when Reis Trager slapped a one-out ground-rule double into the right-center alley. Colin Dailey followed with a hard single to right, going to second when the St. Stanislaus rightfielder overran the ball. Hertz escaped without further damage, getting a grounder to short and ending the inning with a called strikeout.
In the sixth, Brad Cumbest and Dawson Hall led off with singles. One out later, Trenton Baldock singled to load the bases. However, the Hornets (8-7, 2-2) couldn’t get a run across as Hertz stranded the runners with a strikeout and fly to left.
“Every time they got runners in scoring position,” Logan said, “he found a way to get out of the inning.”
“You have to take you hat off to (Hertz),” said East Central coach Bo Long. “We hit the ball well, but he never got himself into trouble. We couldn’t put together more one or more hits in each inning.”
The Rockachaws (8-5, 3-1) scored three runs in the third and three runs in the fifth to take control of the game. In the third inning, St. Stanislaus took advantage of a pick-off attempt to score a run and a bobbled double-play possibility to keep the inning alive.
In the fifth inning, another errant pickoff attempt at third led to a run. Also, an error on a bunt attempt, a dropped foul ball that allowed Brendan Logan to move Jacob Necaise into scoring position, allowed St. Stanislaus to get into position to seal the win.
“They played good, clean baseball, and we played sloppy baseball,” Long said. “Every run they got came after our mistakes.”
Despite picking up the win, Logan said his team was not where he wanted it to be midway through the year.
“It was a great individual effort,” he said of Hertz’ night. “But, offensively and defensively, we still have to get better. As a team, we still have some work to do.”
Logan also had a good night for the Rockachaws, setting the table with a pair of hits, a sacrifice, and a stolen base. Levi Knight singled and was hit twice and Magruder O’Bannon singled and drove in two runs.
For East Central, Baldock was 3-for-3 with a double. Trager added a pair of hits, including a double, for the Hornets.