SHENANDOAH – Carter Ruzek earned the complete game win on the mound and the Shenandoah Mustangs scored three runs in the sixth inning to earn a 4-2 win over Creston Thursday, June 10.
With Shenandoah trailing 2-1 entering the home sixth, Couper Gile drew a one-out walk and moved up when David Rendon was hit by a pitch with two outs. Hunter Dukes took a walk to load the bases and then Cain Lorimor hit a slow roller to short. The throw to first was low, skipped away from the first baseman and all three runners came around to score.
“That’s a really good baseball team that has some good wins,” Shenandoah head coach Brett Roberts said about rallying for the win over Creston. “We’re pretty even I would say and we came through at the end, putting the ball in play when we needed too and got the runs. Carter did an awesome job on the mound and the defense was great behind him.”
The home sixth came right after the home fifth in which a pair of singles by Dukes and Lorimor and two stolen bases gave Shenandoah runners at second and third and nobody out, but they weren’t able to score. Braden Knight struck out, Carter Ruzek tried to bunt in Dukes from third, but Dukes was thrown out at the plate, and then Owen McCunn grounded out to end the threat.
Meanwhile, on the mound Ruzek limited the Panthers to five hits and two unearned runs in seven innings. He walked one, hit a batter and struck out five.
“Carter was throwing first pitch strikes,” Roberts said. “He was hitting inside and outside and had three pitches working for strikes. Anytime you can keep kids off-balanced and throw three pitches for strikes you’re going to be good. He has gotten better every start. We feel confident with him on the mound.”
Creston’s two runs came in the fourth inning with a Mustang error followed by a pair of singles.
Shenandoah’s first run came in the second inning when Brody Owen singled, stole second and scored on Camden Lorimor’s double.
The Mustangs finished with six hits with Owen leading the team with two. They left
eight runners on base.
“We left a lot of guys out there and had a lot of chances,” Roberts said. “We missed some opportunities but we put some pressure on their defense and came through.”
Roberts was pleased with the bottom of the order. Owen had the two hits batting sixth, Camden Lorimor the RBI double batting eighth and seven-hitter Gile and nine-hitter Rendon found a way on base in the big sixth inning.
“That’s a group that needs to extend at-bats and roll it over to the top,” Roberts said. “We have some decent speed there and some guys that can make plays. We need them to be good and they were productive for us.”