By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Baseball is a game full of clichés.
And there is an entire section dedicated to the position of pitcher. Hurlers want to throw gems and apparently their best friend is a double play. But if you ask Tipton-Rosemark Academy pitcher Gil Erwin after March 24’s 15-1 win over league foe Fayette Academy, run support is a close buddy as well.
“It felt good to get that run support,” he said. “I hit a few right to people but I had a bunch of people getting hit after hit stringing them up.”
The junior pitcher did his part and kept the Viking bats quiet most of the night, helping the Rebels end the game in five innings.
“I felt pretty good and my ball was moving pretty good,” Erwin noted. “I was able to get it in the zone and hit my spots.”
TRA jumped ahead 5-1 after two innings. The Rebels added three more runs in the third inning with Jacob La Fosse and Xen Penny reaching base courtesy of a single and walk respectively. Nathan Whitley drove them in with a double.
Whitley made the score 8-1 when a pass ball flew past Rebel batter Blain Curtis. Whitley jogged down the third base line to touch home plate.
Then Rebel Head Coach Brad Smith’s team erupted for seven runs in the fourth inning to put the game away.
Logan Stewart drove in the first run of the rally smashing a ball to the outfield to score Connor Alexander.
LaFosse reached on a single. Then a pass ball allowed Stewart to score making the tally 10-1.
Erwin and Penny walked to lead the bases. Another Viking pass ball opened up a spot on the base paths and made the score 11-1.
Jordan Carpenter drove in the next run with a ground ball.
The tally became 13-1 when Curtis hit a laser single through the Fayette Academy defense to drive in a run.
After a Conner Sanders double, Alexander hit a double of his own to score two runs making the tally 15-1.
Erwin went to the mound for the fifth inning and shut down the Vikings giving TRA the league victory.
As one of Smith’s two main pitchers for league back-to-back games, the junior hurler said he wants to validate his coach’s faith in his skills.
“I feel good about that and that he has more confidence in me,” he said. “It helps me to perform better.”
Erwin and the Rebels had to travel to Fayette Academy the following night with the Vikings wanting to improve on their performance.
“Don’t get too big and let our heads get too big,” Erwin said about the approach to the rematch. “We have to keep hitting like we’ve been hitting.”