Hays High head baseball coach Frank Leo referred to his Indians’ defense as crisp Thursday in a doubleheader sweep against visiting Russell/Victoria at Indian Field.
And that wasn’t just because the cold wind made them feel that way.
Hays High’s nearly-flawless defensive effort in a 16-1, 12-2 romp over the Broncos came in spite of the near-frigid, unpleasant conditions.
“Our pitching and defense was really good today,“ Leo said as his club moved to 4-0. “On a cold day, it’s hard to be that crisp.”
Hays High needed just nine innings to claim the sweep, putting up nine hits in the opener and 11 in the nightcap to back up a pair of solid — albeit short — pitching performances.
Palmer Hutchison threw three innings on scoreless ball in the opener, before giving the ball to Dylan Dreiling. The freshman gave up the Broncos’ lone run on one hit, while the Indians played error free.
It was the second outing for Hutchison, who picked up a win at Colby in the Indians’ opener Monday. He and Trey Riggs will be looked upon often this season.
“They are going to be our horses,” Leo said. “You have to develop more than a 1-2 punch, though.
“Trey was outstanding against Colby,” Leo said of Riggs’ one-hit, 16-strikeout shutout against the Eagles on Monday. “And Palmer was on target today.”
The offense did the rest. Riggs drove in three runs on two hits in the opener, while Brock Lummus and Dom Bainter each drove in a pair. Then in his lone appearance, Brandon Hoffman cleared the bases with a double late in Game 1.
Walker Braun took the loss for the Broncos in 2.2 innings. Kirk Huser drove in Russell’s lone run.
In the nightcap, Cody Petersen pitched all four innings with Hays again error-free behind him.
Petersen gave up two earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk while Riggs, Lummus and Dreiling went to work with two runs driven in each.
“We let the offense happen, take advantage of what we can take advantage of,” Leo said. “I thought we swung it well today.”
If anything, the Indians swung it too well, Leo said, adding they would have liked to get more work in.
“We’re not wishing it didn’t happen,” Leo said. “We played good baseball.”
Josh Foster took the loss for Russell/Victoria, going 3.1 innings. Huser drove in the two runs.
Hays High is off until Monday when it takes on Topeka-Washburn Rural in a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Indian Field.