By Steve WILAJ
Following Girard’s 8-3 win against McDonald on Saturday, third baseman Evan Standohar mapped out the key to the Indians’ 6-0 start.
“Everybody’s focused and doing their job,” he said. “The pitching’s been good and the hitting’s been consistent. And after the first game we’ve really stayed away from errors and been playing clean.”
He also broke it down in much simpler terms.
“We’re really zoned in as a team,” Standohar said. “We’re really hungry this year.”
It showed against the Blue Devils, as Girard scored in each inning, received a strong outing from starting pitcher Ryan Leasure and didn’t commit an error.
“Offensively we’re getting quality at bats, not missing signs — things like that,” Indians coach Aaron Alejars said. “We executed a hit-and-run perfectly today. Then we’re making a lot of clean plays and just not beating ourselves.”
Standohar put the Indians ahead 2-0 in the first inning with a two-out single, but McDonald (1-4) answered with three runs in the second.
Garrett Mulrooney’s two-run double tied the game and an RBI single by Matt Monnas gave the Blue Devils an early lead. However, that would be it for the McDonald offense even though it racked up 10 hits.
“We’ve been struggling the past couple games to get things going,” Blue Devils coach Matt Vukovic said. “So I look at it as a positive that we’re starting to hit the ball and get some hits top to bottom.”
Girard answered with three runs in the bottom half, keyed by two McDonald errors. Jimmy Standohar added a sacrifice fly to cap the rally.
“Those errors have been piling up a lot this year unfortunately,” Vukovic said. “Just little mental things that we keep making mistakes on.”
The Indians added a run in each of the next three innings as Kyle Harris, Mark Standohar and Austin DeGregory each picked up an RBI base hit.
“It was nice to keep adding on. That’s always the game plan,” Alejars said. “We put pressure on their defense. It didn’t play the sharpest game, but we kept the pressure on by having some good at-bats, battling with two strikes and putting the ball in play.”
On the mound, Leasure tossed five innings in his first start of the season to earn the victory. He allowed three runs on seven hits, while Colin Cramer also pitched two scoreless innings.
“I think Leasure threw really well,” Standohar said. “It was nice to see him go throw strikes. They found some gaps, but it happens and overall he looked really good. Then Colin did what he had to in those two innings.”