Niles baseball blanks Brandywine in season opener

Drew Huffman puts the finishing touches on Niles’ 6-0 win over Brandywine Wednesday. (Leader photo/TIMOTHY RITTER

Drew Huffman puts the finishing touches on Niles’ 6-0 win over Brandywine Wednesday. (Leader photo/TIMOTHY RITTER

The Niles baseball team played solid defense and its pitchers threw strikes for seven innings in Wednesday’s season opener against Brandywine.

The Bobcats weren’t as strong in those areas in one inning and that was the difference as the Vikings blanked the Bobcats, 6-0.

Niles scored five runs in the fourth inning with four of those runs being unearned. Brandywine committed two errors in that inning and walked three batters.

“We kind of gave it to them a little bit today,” said Brandywine baseball coach Dave Sidenbender. “We just have a little fine tuning to do and we need to get better defensively.
“This was the first time we threw off a mound live. Our first games (against River Valley on Monday) we were on turf at Notre Dame so it was a little different. We had some control issues in one inning (on Wednesday). We didn’t throw enough strikes.”

In the fourth, Niles got a bases-loaded walk from Austin Curran, an RBI groundout from Cody Glick and a two-run single from Keegan Neumann.

Curran’s RBI single gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the third inning.

“Offensively, we weren’t consistent,” said Niles baseball coach Mike Vota. “We ran the bases OK, but not great. We just need to get better at stringing stuff together.”

On the pitching mound, the Niles trio of Jakob Huffman, Jake Hamm and Drew Huffman combined to allow only one hit, strike out eight and walk three.

The Vikings had only one error and the defensive play of the day came from Drew Huffman in center field when he caught a hard hit line drive and threw to first to get a double play in the fourth inning.

“I thought we did some things well,” Vota said. “Our pitchers threw well. They were around the zone. Our catchers did a good job of calling pitches and I don’t think we had a single passed ball. Defensively, I thought our infield did a nice job and (Drew) Huffman had the play of the day out in center when he made that double play. That was nice.”

NILES 6, BRANDYWINE 0

At Niles
Brandywine  000     000     0 – 0 1 3

Niles                001     500     x – 6 7 1

Brett Jacobs (L), Cole Searles (4), Mark Conrad (5) and Jesh Wiese; Jakob Huffman (W), Jake Hamm (4), Drew Huffman (6) and Cody Glick, Tayton Stevens (7).

2B: Jakob Huffman (N),  Hamm (N),

Varsity records: Brandywine 2-1, Niles 1-0

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