Flyers, efficient Ward blank Clay, 9-0
PORTSMOUTH — After winning his first career start with an efficient performance, Tyler Ward figured why not try it again.
Ward gave up a base hit to Clay’s first batter, and then retired 12 straight before finishing with a four-hitter as the St. Joseph Flyers beat the Portsmouth Clay Panthers 9-0 on Tuesday.
Ward struck out two and did not walk a batter in beating Clay (5-4).
“Tyler was super-efficient again. He did the same thing in his first start and continued to build on it,” said Flyers’ coach Brent Wirzfeld.
“Clay is a much improved team, but we had a complete team effort. We’re playing much better. We’re playing heads-up on the bases.”
The Flyers had 13 hits with Cole Willis going 3-for-3 and Chase Walters and Tre Neal 2-4 as nine different players got hits.
St. Joseph (3-3) scored three times in the first inning.
Daniel Davidson and Neal singled, Chris Lewis walked and Peyton Adkins grounded out as a run scored.
Walters singled home a run, Jacob Clark walked and Adkins came home on a passed ball.
The lead went to 7-0 in the second.
Zac McGraw singled, stole second and Neal had an RBI single.
Neal stole second and Willis had an RBI single. Willis stole second and Lewis doubled off the fence for an RBI.
Walters capped the rally with a run-scoring single.
The Flyers added a run in the fifth when McGraw walked, stole second, moved up on a dropped third strike and Bradley Rist grounded out to drive in McGraw.
The final run scored in the sixth when Clark singled, stole second, Gage Butler singled him to third and Trey Young hit into a fielder’s choice.
The Flyers host Rock Hill on Thursday.
St. Joseph 340 011 0 = 9 13 0
Ports. Clay 000 000 0 = 0 4 3
Tyler Ward and Tre Neal. Cole Gilliland, Keith Cottle (2), Zackary Phillips (5) and Wyatt Large. W-Ward (K-2, BB-0). L-Gilliland. Hitting—SJ: Daniel Davidson 1-4, Tre Neal 2-4, Cole Willis 3-3, Chris Lewis 1-2 2B, Seth Kelley 1-1, Chase Walters 2-4, Jacob Clark 1-3, Gage Butler 1-3, Zac McGraw 1-2; PC: Zackary Phillips 1-3, Devin Holcomb 1-2, Brody Riffe 1-3, Keith Cottle 1-2.