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NORTH VERNON — Pitching and timely offense lifted Columbus East to a 5-0 baseball victory against Jennings County on Thursday at Jennings County High School.
After a quick run by East in the first, when Jordan Johnson batted in Peyton Gray, it looked as though there might be some offensive action in store.
However, Jennings County sophomore pitcher Caleb Eder held off the Olympians until midway through the sixth inning, when he was relieved after throwing more than 100 pitches.
East’s Ben Harpring, Yates Burkhart and Sam Claycamp then combined for three RBI singles in the sixth and seventh innings, and Harpring scored on a wild pitch to put East (10-4) up 5-0 and take the game out of reach of the Jennings County (6-6).
“We played solid tonight,” East coach Jonathan Gratz said. “We started to hit the ball a little bit better late in the game, which is what I want to see.”
The pitching of East senior Dakota Glenn was certainly solid, as he threw eight strikeouts and allowed only four hits in his second shutout of the season.
“Pitching like that will take you really far,” Gratz said of Glenn’s performance. “Dakota has been great for us, and he really came through tonight.”
Despite two errors, the Olympians made timely defensive plays, including picking off two runners in scoring position at second early in the game.
Jennings County coach Gabe Lowman emphasized poor execution at the plate making the difference in the game.
“We just had very poor at-bats,” Lowman said. “We let an 80-mile-per-hour fastball thrown right down the middle beat us every single time.”
The Panthers stranded seven runners on base.
Despite a lack of offensive production, Eder delivered a solid game from the mound for Jennings County, striking out eight and walking three through six innings.
“He pounded the strike zone,” Lowman said. “He just had a lot of full counts and threw a lot of pitches for us. I was not upset with our defense or pitching tonight. We were just not focused at the plate.”
The Olympians moved runners at every opportunity, with five stolen bases and nine hits.
Claycamp had two singles for East, while junior catcher Christian Wichman had the only extra-base hit of the game, shooting a double into left center in the third.
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