Garrett pitches Eagles past Indians
— Joseph Garrett eyed a no-hitter as he took the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The right-handed pitcher for Bohemia Manor allowed his first hit and only run in the final inning of Monday’s Susquehanna Division meeting with host North East, but struck out the final two batters he faced to escape a bases-loaded jam and seal a 5-1 victory for the Eagles.
“The last inning was a little frustrating. I just had to keep my composure and hope my defense would step up and help me like they did the whole game,” Garrett said. “My defense really helped me out today. The offense hit the crap out of the ball. [North East] is a very good team, they hit balls where we weren’t and we made the plays that we could. I’m proud of my defense and my offense.”
He struck out six and walked three in his one-hit, one-run complete game effort. Garrett called his slider “my go-to pitch today,” but said he relied heavily on the outside fastball
in the later innings.
“With good starting pitching and good defense today we were able to squeak out with a win,” Eagles coach Gary Johnson said. “Joe had some push today. He was definitely locating his fastball, so we were able to hit spots and pitch around some of these guys that we know have some big sticks on them. When you pitch around those guys and not let them get the meat of the bat on the ball, it allows us to pitch to contact and then our defense can make some plays on it. But yeah, he pitched a heck of a game.”
Bo Manor’s solid defense was highlighted by a diving catch in left field by Dillon McFarland that ended the fifth inning.
“That’s what Dillon does,” Johnson said. “His fundamentals are really good. That’s something we stress in practice, how we approach a ball, angles, direction, footwork, and he’s probably one of my best outfielders with that.”
Garrett was especially appreciative of the catch.
“That diving catch right there saves a run,” he said, “and that run changes the whole game.”
The Eagles (4-0 overall, 2-0 division) broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the third inning. Garrett and third baseman Chase Justice reached on a two-RBI single by Gage Walklett. Bryan Bell followed with a double to the right-center wall that drove in Josh Heath. Bell was driven in two batters later by Tyler Ferguson.
Ferguson batted in Walklett in the top of the seventh to add an insurance run for Bo Manor.
After the Indians’ first two batters reached in the bottom of the frame, Colt Price smacked a double to the wall in center field that scored Eric Steele. North East would draw a walk to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate, but Garrett answered with a pair of strikeouts for the win.
“[Garrett] was around the plate the entire game. It wasn’t so much that we weren’t making contact, they made all the plays,” Indians coach Kevin Brown said. “They made the plays and that was the difference in this game. The inning they scored four runs, Cameron [Blankeship] should’ve been out of that inning with about six pitches thrown. All four of those runs were unearned. It’s a much closer game had we made the plays.”
Blankenship threw a complete game for North East (4-3, 1-2), allowing six hits, striking out five and just one walk.
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
Bohemia Manor pitcher Joseph Garrett pumps his fist after recording the final strikeout during the Eagles’ 5-1 Susquehanna Division win over host North East on Monday.