Dell throws 2-hit shutout vs. Knightline
By BOB ETTINGER
It didn’t take Richie Dell long to figure out exactly what the Knightline hitters were looking for at the plate. From there, it was simply a matter of giving them something else.
Dell not only found the right combination, but served up strikes in the process to lead Creekside Fitness past Knightline, 3-0, in Class B action at Cene Park on Wednesday evening.
“I was trying to get ahead early in the count,” Dell said. “I wanted to get in good pitching counts and stay away from fastball counts. They weren’t able to put good swings on the ball.”
Dell allowed just two hits, hit a batter, walked a batter and fanned 11 over six innings of shutout ball.
“They were taking the first-pitch slider,” Dell said. “I thought I could get ahead. They were sitting fastball all night. I threw the slider when they weren’t expecting it. That kept them off balance.”
Danny Beistel and Nic Ottaviani smacked consecutive singles through the right side and moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Cam Burton to open the top half of the second. Nate Stutz fllowed with a sac fly to center scoring Beistel for a 1-0 Creekside (6-2) lead.
Knightline (5-3) had runners at first and second with nobody out in the second, but Dell recorded his first strikeout and induced a double play to get out of it. In the fifth, Knightline had runners on second and third with two outs, but Dell wiggled off the hook with his third strikeout in the inning to preserve the one-run lead.
“I feel the adrenaline,” Dell said. “When guys are on base, my adrenaline is up, my velo is up. It makes it more difficult for the hitters to hit. I’m a different pitcher with guys on base. It keeps me efficient and that’s why they weren’t able to get any runs.”
In the sixth, Dylan Gurski walked with one out, stole second and moved to third on a single from Kyle Weitzel. Grant Metzger brought Gurski home with another sac fly to center for a 2-0 Creekside lead. Consecutive walks and consecutive wild pitches allowed Burton to score an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
“We were struggling at the beginning (of the season),” Creekside manager Terry Landis said. “We weren’t hitting at all. We’re starting to execute. I think we’re getting better every game. Our pitching is good. We’re working on the hitting. I’m hoping we’ll peak at the right time. I like to play smallball, especially in tight games. We’re starting to do better. Bringing 20 boys together when they have never played together takes a while.”
After Trevor Strohmeyer was hit by a pitch and Gabe Faunda drew a walk, Knightline had the tying run at the plate against Creekside reliever Cameron Kern in the seventh, but the game ended on a liner to center.
“The games we’ve lost this year have been 2-0, 2-1 and 3-0 today,” Knightline manager Tommy Otto said. “We competed. I don’t think we played our best game. We struck out 11 times. When you strike out half the time for your outs, you don’t give yourself a chance to win. We lost a tough one last night, but we competed today.”
Brett Bobin worked six innings allowing two runs on three hits in the loss. He struck out five and walked one.
“Brett threw a great game,” Otto said. “He competed and gave us opportunities. We didn’t cash in offensively. I’m proud of the kids. They show up every day and compete.”
Strohmeyer and Mason McCurdy had the only hits for Knightline.