Falcons soar past Pack

Published 6:59 pm Friday, July 15, 2011

Washington’s Austin Mitchell dives safely back to first base during the Pam Pack’s 10-3 loss to South Central Thursday at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Washington’s youth and inexperience continued to show on Thursday as the young Pam Pack struggled against a South Central team that may have some players that have spent a little more time in the oven. The Pam Pack defense committed five errors in a game for the second time this week, while the offensive power flickered but never fully shined during its 10-3 loss to the Falcons in CCSSL play.
South Central took advantage of Washington errors early as it scored two runs in the first and then went on to tally three in the third, two in the fourth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh to net double digits.
The Pam Pack (4-9), playing without Will Swain, Isiah Taylor and Michael Hollis, fielded a very inexperienced lineup that simply could not compete with South Central. However, Washington coach Matt Burnett said that, that does not excuse the team’s defensive performance.
“We have to play better defense, it doesn’t matter who we have in there,” Burnett said. “We really preach defense and really try to make that the cornerstone of what we do. Some of these younger guys we’re plugging in here don’t have the varsity experience, and the game is so much faster at the varsity level. They just have to go out and get that experience.”
After three scoreless innings, the Pack was finally able to manufacture a run of off Falcons’ starter Matt Summers. Austin Mitchell reached base on an error, then would reach home one batter later when Will Phelps clubbed an RBI double that made it a 6-1 game.
The Pack added two more runs in the sixth when Trey Brunson drove in Patrick Thompson, who reached on a triple and then scored on South Central error.
Those would be the only runs Summers would let up as he tossed six complete innings, scattering five hits while striking out four.
Ryan Hardison was the only Washington player to have more than one hit as he finished the game going 2-3 while playing a solid third base.
Ben Olsen and Gabe Tippett led the Falcons as each belted three hits and combined to score four runs. Tippett also tallied two RBIs.
Washington began the game with Devon Van Cura on the hill and the rising sophomore threw 3 1/3 innings, giving up six runs and six hits while fanning four. Jody Arnold came on in relief of Van Cura and tossed 3 2/3 innings as he allowed four runs on five hits and struck out one.
“(Van Cura) is a rising sophomore and he is probably going to anchor our JV staff next season. With Hollis gone we had to bring him up for a spot start and I thought he did well working around the strike zone. We made some key mistakes behind him but he pitched us into the fourth and I was real pleased,” Burnett said. “(Arnold’s) best pitch is his curveball and I thought he did a tremendous job of keeping them off balance … His No. 1 pitch is his breaking ball and if you’re going to beat him you’re going to have to beat his best pitch.”
Washington heads into the final stretch of the CCSSL as it begins its final week of play on Monday when it hosts Wilson Indepenent.

South Central 203 201 2 — 10 11 3
Washington 000 102 0 — 3 6 5
WP: Matt Summers; LP: Devon Van Cura
Hitting: SC – Ben Olsen 3-4 (RBI), Gabe Tippett 3-4 (2 RBI), Eric Thomas 1-4 (2B, 2R), Matt Summers 2-3 (RBI), Philip Ellis 1-4 (RBI), Ethan Rogerson 1-2 (3B); W – Trey Brunson 1-2 (2B, RBI), Will Phelps 1-2 (RBI), Jody Arnold 1-3, Ryan Hardison 2-3, Patrick Thompson 1-2 (3B).