By Emma del Sol
Jon Duplantier won his fourth game of the year, tying him for the team and league lead in wins as the ‘Sters shutout PUF Capitalists 3-0. Duplantier was throwing heat as he struck out ten batters, gave up three hits, and walked zero in six strong innings of work. Duplantier leads the league in strikeouts with 48 and the team with 56 strikeouts. After having an error filled game yesterday, the ‘Sters played a strong defensive game today, committing zero errors to back Duplantier’s strong outing.
The ‘Sters bats came alive in the bottom of the second as Granger Studdard led off the inning with a single past the glove of the second baseman. The ‘Sters then loaded the bases and were able to score a run off a sac fly from Troy Cruz. Jake Vickerson then brought in the second run of the inning after crushing a line drive to center to score Bret Boswell, who had reached on an infield single.
With two outs in the third, the ‘Sters lengthened their lead after Boswell reached base, due to an error on the second baseman Tristan Hildebrandt. The error allowed Jaylin Davis to advance to third after reaching on a walk earlier in the inning. Davis would end up scoring, putting the ‘Sters up 3-0 after the next batter, AJ Kennedy hit a dribbler to the pitcher who failed to field the ball cleanly.
The Capitalists attempted to dig into the ‘Sters small lead in the eighth. The Capitalists had men on second and first with no outs. Tristan Gray smacked a fly ball single to center fielder Vickerson, who mowed down Michael Cantu with a rocket to home plate, preserving the shut out.
Colt Atwood and Ford Stainback perfected a double steal in the bottom of the fifth inning. Atwood leads the team in steals with 22. Dave Graybill, Jon Williamson, and Brandon Quintero each pitched an inning of relief work for the ‘Sters. Williamson struck out one batter, while Quintero struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The ‘Sters are back in action tomorrow at 5pm against the PUF Capitalists for the second of this three game series.