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home : sports : sports   May 24, 2016

3/28/2013 10:34:00 AM
Pitchings lifts Hall baseball to opening win

Brad Martin
NewsTribune Sports Writer

There may have still been snow in front of the dugouts at Kirby Park in Spring Valley, but it was warm enough for the Hall and Erie-Prophetstown baseball teams to get in their first game of the 2013 season just before the calendar turned to April.

The Red Devils had dominant pitching to come away with a 7-1 season-opening victory over the Panthers.

Hall pitchers Brett Fanning, Austin Schmitt and Pete Mautino collected 15 strikeouts while giving up four hits and one unearned run.

“It was nice to just get outside finally,” Red Devil manager Tom Keegan said. “Everyone was getting cooped up in the gym the past few weeks, but I thought our pitching did a nice job today. I know as the weather warms up we’ll need the hitting to pick up also because we’re not going to go out and have 15 or 16 strikeouts every night, but today we did a good job and the defense did a nice job for first time out, but we didn’t see a lot of balls put in play either.”

E-P’s Jordan Chandler reached to open the game with a walk from Fanning and stole two bases, but the senior hurler picked up a pair of strikeouts to end the scoring threat.

Taggart Venegas battled through his first at-bat in a Red Devils uniform as the lead-off hitter drew a walk and eventually scored a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.

Fanning singled to center and advanced to second as the throw went home. Two batters later, Miguel Villarreal hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Fanning and gave the Red Devils a 2-0 lead.

The Panthers got two runners on in the top of the second, but Fanning once again ended the threat, this time by striking out three batters to kill the rally.

In the top of the third, Chandler had a lead-off triple to deep center field, but that’s as far as he went as Fanning struck out the next three batters to end the threat and finish his first outing of the season with eight strikeouts in three innings.

In the bottom half of the inning, Mautino led off with a walk and then Fanning was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Villarreal reached on an error as the throw to first was dropped by Owen McConnell to score Mautino and give the Red Devils a 3-0 lead.

Fanning made it 4-0 on a passed ball.

The scoring stayed there until the top of the fifth when Brondon McCullough reached on a throwing error by Villarreal.

Zach Hart picked up an RBI single to center to score McCullough but was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double on a relay from Venegas to nail the runner and end the inning with Hall leading 4-1.

The Red Devils added two more insurance runs in the fifth. Villarreal reached on an error and scored on an RBI double by Trevor Urbanski, who later scored on a passed ball for a 6-1 lead.

Fanning picked up an RBI on a groundout in the sixth inning for a 7-1 lead.
Mautino struck out three batters to end the game and give Hall the victory.

Fanning, Matt Boucher and Urbanski had the hits for the Red Devils, while Fanning picked up the win on the mound. Schmitt struck out two in relief, while Mautino struck out another five.

Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939, or at

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