MIDDLEFIELD—Jake Bean struck out 14 and Ty Zeigler hit a two-run home run as Cardinal blanked visiting Kirtland on Tuesday, 5-0.
Ziegler’s fourth-inning homer gave the Huskies a 3-0 lead and Bean allowed just two Hornets to reach base the rest of the way.
“That home run was amazing,” said Cardinal coach Jon Sandoval. “That broke it open for us; it loosened us up in the dugout, and brought life back to the lineup.”
Bean pitched a complete game with the 14 strikeouts and he allowed just three hits.
“Jake is a game-changer,” Sandoval said. “His fastball is electric and he’s got good stuff and off-speed pitches. He is very cool and collected, and also a professional at-bat.”
Bean knew mixing up his pitches would keep opposing hitters off-balance.
“One of my biggest things is always keeping the batters on their toes, never letting them know what’s coming next; a lot of off-speed and sliders,” Bean said. “I know I can locate the fastball, so I can go to it in a pinch.”
Logan Strever singled and scored in the bottom of the second to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Connor Callison reached on a two-out error and Zeigler hit a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field to push the lead to 3-0.
Bean then led off the Cardinal sixth with a single and Austin Shank was hit by a pitch and Callison drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Zeigler then singled home Bean and Jackson Puruczky walked home another to close out the scoring.
Zeigler finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Troy Domen, Bean, and Strever each had one hit for the Huskies, who improved to 2-1.
Tommy Gogolin, Johnathan Withrow, and Mason Rus each had hits for the Hornets.
“We just have to make contact with the ball,” Smrdel said. “That’s been our big downfall so far this year. We also have a lack of consistency. Hopefully, we get in a rhythm and find that groove pretty soon.”
Pierce Boyd took the hard-luck loss on the hill. He allowed just two earned runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Rus didn’t allow a run or a hit in 2/3 of an inning.