Falcons run rule Knights in five
By Drake Horton, Contributing Writer
For the second time in one week the Darlington Falcons baseball team ended a game in the fifth inning, this time beating the Crestwood Knights 10-0 this past Friday at home.
Using a combination of stout pitching, timely hitting and the ability to capitalize on Crestwood’s numerous mistakes the Falcons cruised to an easy victory, improving not only to 3-0 on the young season, but more importantly to 1-0 in the region.
Darlington’s starting pitcher Brycen Brown pitched a marvelous four innings, not giving up any runs, allowing only two hits and facing only one hitter over the minimum for the four innings he pitched.
“Brycen threw 35 pitches in four innings and I bet I can count on one hand how many balls he had,” Darlington baseball head coach Billy Sylvester said on Brown’s performance. “He pounded the strike zone, kept our defense on its toes.”
The Falcons Austin White came in and closed the game out in the fifth for Darlington.
White got off to rough start in the inning throwing his first seven pitches for a ball. After that, however, it was like a light switch came on as White struck out two of the next three Crestwood hitters while nine of his next 12 pitches were for strikes.
“So far when our guys have been in the bullpen and coming into the game and even in their warmups, when they have thrown really well they don’t do as well when they come into the game,” Sylvester said on why White struggled early. “I think they get a mentality and we’ve talked about it, a mentality where we can just throw it up there and everything is going to be perfect, and then when we throw bad in the pen and bad in the warmup then we know we got to focus and we make better pitches and we pitch well when we get out there.”
Darlington jumped on Crestwood early in the first inning, scoring three runs while the Knights committed five errors.
The Falcons added four runs in the second inning, this by a more conventional way as Darlington recorded four hits in the inning, including Garrett Revell’s two-RBI triple. The other two runs came off a Crestwood wild pitch and Jaret Boswell’s fielder’s choice in which everybody ended up being safe.
By the third inning, with the Falcons up 7-0, Sylvester began to unload his bench letting some of the other players get valuable playing time.
While those players may not be starters they were not going to let this moment pass them by.
“We got to give them a chance to play and tonight was a good night and they didn’t disappoint us,” Sylvester said on how his reserves played against Crestwood. “They played like they were supposed to play and like we expect them because that is why we kept them. I hope we get a lot more games where we can get them in and let them play as much as everybody else.”
Needing to score three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to set up the potential for an early ending game in the fifth, players Jeremy Standish, the backup third baseman and Dustin Knotts, a relief pitcher and backup shortstop, both came up with a RBI each while Knotts scored that needed third run of the inning off of two more Crestwood errors.
Those big plays in the bottom of the fourth allowed White and the Falcons defense, as it had done all night long, to shut down the Crestwood offense and end the game in just five innings.
Stout pitching and timely hitting was not the only thing Darlington showcased against the Knights. Throughout the game the Falcons showed of their ability to manufacture offense with timely, well executed bunts.
“We had a game plan to put the ball on the ground and bunt balls and use our speed because we worked on that thing for two hours yesterday, getting bunts down and getting out of the box,” Sylvester said on Darlington’s exceptional bunting against the Knights. “It just happened that he (Crestwood’s pitcher) was throwing strikes in there and we were able to get some down and use our speed.”
The Falcons had three bunt singles and two successful sacrifice bunts.
With the victory Darlington improved to 3-0, outscoring its opponents 27-4 in the three games it played this week, including two shutouts in which both ended in the fifth inning due to the run rule.