DELAWARE – Junior Andy Anthony continued a solid season on the mound, tossing a three-hit shutout to lead the Buckeye Valley baseball team to a 2-0 win over London in the first round of the Division II district tournament Tuesday in Delaware.
Anthony featured a curveball that started at right-handed batters before breaking over the plate for a strike. It fooled the opposition to the tune of six strikeouts, including three on called third-strikes.
“It’s filthy,” battery-mate Evan Ulrich said about the breaking ball. “Sometimes he puts it in the dirt and sometimes he flips it over for a strike and it just works.”
Anthony credited pitching coach Cy Perry for teaching him the pitch this season.
He allowed three hits and a walk over seven innings of work to get the win for the 10th-seeded Barons.
“He was hitting his spots,” BV coach Drew Kirby said. “At the end of the day – he doesn’t have a lot of pitches he can work with, but he hits his spots well. He lives low in the zone and gives himself an opportunity. When he gets extension and gets over the top on that (curveball) – it’s phenomenal and it has guys second-guessing.”
Anthony got some help from his defense in the fifth inning with the Barons clinging to a 1-0 lead.
Ethan Hastings reached on a dropped third strike and Ethan Hensel sent a ball over the head of BV right fielder Hunter Moffatt. But, Moffatt collected it quickly and made a perfect throw to first baseman Fletcher Holquist, who fired home to get the runner by a couple of steps for the second out of the inning.
Anthony coaxed a groundout to end the inning and London never threatened again.
But just in case, BV got a run on the board in the bottom half of the inning, though it took a two-out RBI triple by Ulrich after the Barons had a run taken off the board after a runner-interference call.
“He gave me a perfect pitch to take back-side and it was just a good hit,” Ulrich said.
The Barons (15-8) took the lead in the second inning when Logan Adkins doubled to left-center and ended up scoring on a double play
Ulrich and Ben Atiyeh were the only two players to reach base twice. Ulrich reached on a walk and a triple and Atiyeh walked and doubled to lead the Barons, who have won seven of their last eight.
“Our at-bats today weren’t crazy good,” Kirby said. “The output we’ve had over the past few weeks has been strong. At the end of the day – these guys are finding a way to piece things together when they need to. They’re just scrappy.”
Anthony, along with Atiyeh, as a formidable one-two punch – Kirby said.
“They’ve battled and competed (through league play),” Kirby said. “I think it speaks volumes to talk about a kid that’s an all-state football player and a kid that just got honors for all-conference in baseball as well.
“He’s an overall athlete. But the thing about Andy Anthony is that he’s a competitor and that’s why he is where he is today.”
Anthony was primarily an outfielder in his first season on varsity as a sophomore, but asked Kirby if he could get some reps on the mound. Kirby agreed and Anthony has made the most of his opportunity.
“I’ve always wanted to pitch,” Anthony said. “But last year I was just focused on playing on varsity. This year, I knew I had a spot in the outfield, so I was like, ‘Let’s try pitching’ and it’s working out pretty well.”
Cameron Greenhill went the distance for the 17th-seeded Red Raiders (6-18), but took the loss. He allowed five hits and two walks and struck out six. Both of his runs were unearned.
Greenhill, Hensel and Jacob Fox accounted for London’s three hits.
BV moves on to the second round and will travel to sixth-seeded Marengo Highland Thursday at 5 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.