For the second series in a row, the Pittsburg baseball team’s pitching decided to make a statement in their Southeast Kansas League doubleheader at JayCee Ballpark on Thursday night.

For the second series in a row, the Pittsburg baseball team’s pitching decided to make a statement in their Southeast Kansas League doubleheader at JayCee Ballpark on Thursday night.
This time, it was Brandon Spear and Shane Drenick that made that statement by combining to allow just nine hits while striking out 17 as the Dragons swept Parsons 8-1 and 5-1.
In the first game, Spear held the Vikings in check by striking out 10 and getting help by way of a solo home run from shortstop Tanner Smith in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Before the game, Spear was confident that this would be his night.
“I was messing around before the game and I thought that I would get about 13 but I was pulled out before I could get that,” Spear said. “But I was happy with getting 10 and that was the first time that I got double-digits and the first time that I have gone six innings this year.”
That is not to say that he did not have a hiccup along the way.
In the second inning, Spear struck out the first batter and then got Preston Allen to ground out. Jake Stine then walked and Cory Beachner connected on a single to right that put runners at first and second with two outs.
Spear got out of the jam by getting Brett Cares to ground out to Smith on the very next pitch.
“I just had to keep my head in the game,” Spear said. “I just had to bow my neck and throw the ball to the glove and that is what I did.”
Pittsburg head coach Mike Wilbert said that getting out of the jam is about pitch location.
“If you throw strikes and you aren’t walking people you have the ability to do that,” Wilbert said. “I don’t know how many walks we had but I don’t think we had that many and as long as you are throwing strikes the other team has to hit the ball and put the ball in play and we were able to come up and make those plays.”
Sean Stotler also helped out Spear with a two-run triple in the second that scored Drenick and Zach Richardson.
In the second game, Drenick was in trouble early in the first inning after Cares led off the the game with a single and scored on an double by Tyler Gilley.
Parsons had the bases loaded with two outs when Allen hit back to first baseman Zach White for an unassisted out to end the threat.
That would not be the last time Drenick was in trouble.
In the top of the fourth, Beachner led off with that dropped into left center then Cares singled up the middle.
With runners at first and second and no outs, Ethan LaForge attempted to lay down a bunt but it popped up into Drenick’s glove for one out then Drenick made a throw to White for the double play.
“We had some timely plays on defense and things really worked out,” Drenick said.
Drenick got some offensive help in the bottom of the fourth when Garin Green hit a lead-off double down the right field line and Ryan Williams laid down a bunt single.
Green scored when Jace Erwin hit a fielder’s choice that was mishandled. Tanner Smith picked up his second RBI of the game on the next at-bat with another mishandled fielder’s choice that scored Williams, giving the Dragons a 4-1 lead.
Pittsburg added another run in the bottom of the sixth to secure the sweep.
“I thought that our effort was outstanding tonight,” Wilbert said. “We were a little sluggish but I think that we came out and played aggressive and made some very good plays.”
Drenick closed out the second game by pitching seven complete innings and striking out seven while scattering just four hits.
“It felt good tonight because I haven’t pitched in a while,” Drenick said. “I just tried to keep them off-balance with the curve ball and the off-speed and breaking stuff.”
The Dragons were scheduled to play a non-league contest at Carl Junction, Mo. on Monday, but that has been cancelled.

High school baseball
at JayCee Ballpark
Game one
Pittsburg 8, Parsons 1
Parsons    000 001 0 — 1 6 3
Pittsburg    130 103 x — 8 9 1
Brandon Spear, Lee Recker (7) and Jace Erwin. Dante Erwin, Tyler Gilley (6) and Jordan Marlow. WP — Spear. LP — Erwin. E — Flores 2, Rocky Blackburn, Spear. 2B — Zach Richardson. 3B — Sean Stotler. HR — Tanner Smith.
Game two
Pittsburg 5, Parsons 1
Parsons    100 000 0 — 1 4 1
Pittsburg    110 201 x — 5 7 1
Shane Drenick and Jace Erwin. Ethan LaForge, Tyler Gilley (6) and Jordan Marlow. WP — Drenick. LP — LaForge. E — Marlow, Sean Stotler. 2B — Gilley, Garin Green.