Flyers offense fooled by Hyde Park pitching
March 12, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated March 11, 2013 at 10:12 p.m.
St. Joseph couldn't get the bats going against one of the hardest throwing pitchers the Flyers have seen this season.
Chance Kirby allowed St. Joseph just two hits in a 5-0 loss Tuesday afternoon against Austin Hyde Park in a TAPPS District 3-4A contest.
Kirby also struck out 12 Flyers to pick up the shutout victory. Only three St. Joseph runners reached scoring position and that advancement came off a walk and a pair of passed balls.
Senior Jerry Vasquez was responsible for both St. Joseph singles. In the bottom of the fourth, his bunt single broke up Kirby's streak of 10 straight retired.
Vasquez took the loss on the mound, a week after striking out 17 batters in the Flyers district opener. allowing five runs on 10 hits with seven strikeouts.
Kirby (3 for 4) drove in the final run and his triple was the catalyst for the first. Daniel Williams (2 for 4) drove in a run and scored another.
Hyde Park's first run was scored when Cooper Goens executed a safety squeeze in the top of the second inning. As Vasquez attempted to field the ball and throw home to retire courtesy runner Hunter Lee, he fell awkwardly to the ground.
Vasquez writhed on the field for a few moments holding his left, non-throwing, shoulder. The senior threw a few practice pitches, but did not leave the game.
"That's the kind of attitude we need from every single person on the team," said St. Joseph baseball coach Mike Shimek. "In order for a team like ours, who doesn't have superstars, to be successful we have to reach down into the gut and get some. That's what Jerry did."
After taking a huge cut when batting in the fourth and grabbing his shoulder, Vasquez laid down a bunt to reach base. He wound up being stranded on second, but it was the type of grit that did not go unnoticed.
"I like how he threw. I like how competitive he is," Ruffcorn said about Vasquez. "He pounded the strike zone. He had a little incident where he got hurt, but he stayed in there and battled. I like how he threw. We went one (run), two (runs) and one run and one run. We didn't really put anything together."
Neither did St. Joseph. The Flyers advanced a runner to second base only three times in seven innings.
One person in the stands with a radar gun said Kirby's fastball was between 85 and 88 mph all afternoon. That was the best heater St. Joseph had seen all season. Shimek said his team is capable of hitting pitches with that kind of mustard, but his boys were "tardy" Tuesday.
"I'm thinking that Hyde Park is one of the top teams in the district," Shimek said. "I still think that we have a shot to fare well."