PITTSBURG — Pitching had the upperhand in the 3-0 win for the Pittsburg High School baseball team, as the Purple Dragons held Columbus to one hit in the shutout on Tuesday.
PHS starter Trent Austin allowed one hit through four innings with a three-run lead before handing the ball over to Noah Vaughn out of the bullpen, who held the Titans hitless in the final three innings to close out the win.
“Once again, we pitched really well,” PHS head coach Keith Matlock said. “We’ve been doing that all year long. And like I told the kids after the game, that’s just baseball. You can’t take anything for granted. We hit the ball hard, just right at people. You turn around, and it’s a close game in the end.”
It was six up, six down for Austin to begin the ballgame, before his team gave him a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Dalton Gromer kicked off the frame with single to right-center field and came around to score on a double to left field off the bat of Jerek Butcher.
Butcher moved up to second on a walk drawn by Tye Cicero, then advanced to third on a single by Sutton and crossed the plate on a defensive miscue.
It was the nine-hole hitter who came through for a two-out hit for the Titans in the third inning, but a ground ball in the next at-bat left him stranded.
PHS added one more insurance run in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 3-0, although left two runners in scoring position to end the inning.
The inning began with Cicero drawing a walk, stealing second and coming into score on a single by Zach Sutton.
With nobody on and one out, Brett Wiemers and Elijah Harris both drew a walk and moved up to second and third on a double steal, but the Titans managed to escape danger by recording two consecutive outs to end the frame.
Vaughn took over on the bump to begin the fifth inning and allowed no runs and no hits with four strikeouts to earn the save.
Austin notched five strikeouts in the shutout to earn the win.
“I thought Trent was really good,” Matlock said. “We haven’t extended him much and he got to around 50 pitches, so we wanted to get him out of there after four. I thought he looked really sharp. Noah wasn’t quite as sharp as he’s been this year, but he did a good job of grinding through it and getting us the win.”
Sutton was the offensive leader for PHS, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Butcher also drove in a run on one hit.
While the boys earned the win, it was a different story for the softball team which lost 10-2 to the Titans.
The Purple Dragons responded to the Titans scoring three runs in the first inning with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, but couldn’t push across another baserunner before Columbus scored seven runs in the final two innings.
Zoe Pinamonti was the big bat for PHS, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Madison Vogel also had a pair of hits with a run scored.
The PHS softball team will hit the road to take on Providence Academy at 4 p.m. on Thursday, before joining the baseball team in Baxter Springs at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.