WINNSBORO — The Richard Winn Eagles (5-2, 2-0) baseball team defeated Spartanburg Day on Thursday by a score of 5-0 in a game that lasted just one hour and 10 minutes.
After the game, Richard Winn head coach Al Berry was pleased with his team’s ability to make the easy play.
“We’ve been stressing us not beating ourselves,” he stated. “And that comes with pitchers throwing strikes and then making plays defensively.”
Starting pitcher Austin Knox made throwing strikes look easy as he went all seven innings allowing no runs on three hits, no walks and struck out eight batters.
At one point, Knox retired 15 hitters in a row.
The supreme pitching performance was a direct factor on the games’s quick timetable.
“It makes it easier for the defense when the fielders can get into a tempo and rhythm,” Berry explained. “If you’ve got a pitcher that works quick and is throwing strikes, not giving up base runners by hit batters or base-on-balls, then it keeps the defense in sync.”
Knox threw just 70 pitches during the outing and never threw more than 13 in an inning.
Of the total 70 pitches, 50 were in the strike-zone.
“90 percent of the time he (Knox) was spot on with his location and that makes it tough on hitters,” Berry noted.
Of the total 21 outs, 20 of them came via a ground-ball or strikeout.
Patrick Pope was like a vacuum in the shortstop hole as he scooped up seven of those ground-ball outs.
Making the consistent plays with the glove is a result of maturity and experience according to Berry.
“We’ve been making the plays in the in-field,” he stated. “Our guys are a little bit older this year and they’ve really gained more confidence.”
The most batters Knox ever faced in an inning was five and he retired the side five times.
Berry praised his right handed hurler for the near flawless performance.
“Austin (Knox) pitched a great game for us,” he said. “He located all of pitches well and threw all of his pitches for strikes.”
Knox not only impressed on the mound, but with his stick as well.
He hit his third home run in two days by crushing a ball the opposite way and over the right-center-field fence.
“He’s (Knox) been working really hard in batting practice and he is doing a good job of going with the pitch and he’s really got his timing down right now,” Berry said.
Nick Stillwell, Matt Taylor, Jason Branham and Hampton Caughman all scored a run as well.
Next up , Richard Winn will play at Greenwood Christian on Tuesday (March 25).
The contest versus Greenwood Christian (3-4, 2-0) will pit two of the region’s top contenders against each other.
After losing their first four of five games to start the season, Greenwood Christian has won back to back games to open up the region portion of their schedule.
They beat Spartanburg Day 7-3 and Oakbrook Prep 12-11.
Berry said that his players are starting to get into the full swing of baseball season and spent this week focused on batting practice and defensive play.
“A lot of these guys are just coming off basketball, so we’ve spent a lot of time catching them up,” he noted.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m. in Greenwood.