Camden’s pitchers are making things easier for the Bulldog offense.
In their first outing since a combined one-hitter in a 5-2 victory over A.C. Flora last Friday, CHS had a trio of hurlers combine on a three-hit shutout in Tuesday’s 8-0 win over Lower Richland in Hopkins.
The Dogs improved to 3-1 on the regular season and 2-0 in Region 4-AAA play heading into Wednesday’s game at Lugoff-Elgin.
Sophomore Devin Beckley evened his record at 1-1 on the season as the right-hander worked five complete innings in which he fanned nine, allowed two hits and walked a batter. Christian Flick came on in the sixth and gave up a hit while recording a strikeout before Tyler Jordan threw a perfect seventh in which he had a strikeout.
In all, the trio of righties allowed three hits, struck out 11 Diamond Hornets and issued just one walk. Those numbers pleased CHS head coach Denny Beckley.
"Our pitchers have done a great job of limiting the amount of hits that our opponents are getting," he said. "We only allowed one walk in this game which is very important. We made (LR) put the ball in play. We also made just one error which came on a tough play.
"It’s a credit to our entire pitching staff for throwing strikes, making people put the ball in play and then, getting strikeouts."
The CHS offense provided all the run support with a run in the top of the first which kicked off six innings in which the guests scored at least one run.
Cole Irick led the game off by drawing a walk, stealing second and scoring on a single from Lawson Stokes, who had two of Camden’s three hits on the night. In the second, Jordan rapped a one-out single, stole second before taking third on a passed ball and scoring on an Irick ground out to make it 2-0.
Stokes went deep in the third with a solo home run, his first of the year, as the lead went to 3-0. An inning later, the Dogs scored twice as Will Abbott reached on an error. Flick followed with a double to right center to put runners on second and third for Irick whose grounder to shortstop was played into an error which allowed Abbott to score. Darius Smith brought home the fifth run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Camden scored a run in the sixth and tacked on a pair in the seventh to close the scoring.
Devin Beckley’s two-out single in the sixth was followed by Abbott’s RBI double to left center. An inning later, Jordan and pinch-hitter Connor Morrow got aboard on back-to-back walks before William Spring loaded the bases when he was awarded first on a catcher’s interference. Zach Boykin brought in a run when he drew a bases-loaded walk before Carson Morgan plated the eighth run when he was hit by a pitch.
The Bulldogs collected eight hits while drawing five walks and having five batters hit by a pitch.
While not ready to say that his offense has arrived, Denny Beckley said he is seeing his hitters take better approaches at the plate recently.
"We’ve been concentrating on not being quite as aggressive in swinging at pitches which are out of the strike zone," said Beckley whose team host Dreher tonight in a 6:30 p.m. start.
"We scored in all but one inning in this game which shows our ability to get people on base and use timely hits to move them around and then, across the plate. We were very successful in doing that in this game."