Tuesday, April 03, 2012

SPORTS >> Another pitching gem, Bison win

Leader sportswriter

The Carlisle Bison have put on a clinic this year of how to win games, and Monday was just another lesson against Poyen as the Bison beat the Indians 8-1 in a non-conference game at home to improve to 13-2 on the season.

Josh Mathis earned the win with a shutout performance on the mound, striking out four and walking two in four innings of work.

“The pitching was good,” said Carlisle coach B.J. Greene. “Josh Mathis, again, threw well. He’s moving up our depth chart every game, and he’s getting close to being the number two guy. Defensively we played really well. We went without an error, so that’s really good.

“Hitting, we had some guys strike out with runners in scoring position with two outs. We had three guys do that, and that hurt us a little bit. But we hit the ball well.”

Carlisle wasted no time putting runs on the board, scoring two in the first, one in the second, and one in the third to take a 4-0 lead. Mathis’ pitching stayed strong in his final inning of work, and the Bison used the next two innings to build its lead.

Leadoff hitter Chris Hart walked to start the bottom of the fourth before stealing both second and third base. Tommy Inman also walked, and while at first base, Inman gave Poyen pitcher Bryan Wilfong plenty to stress about.

On a pickoff attempt to first, Wilfong balked, allowing Hart to score and Inman to advance to second. Trey Wilson then doubled off the fence in right center to bring Inman home, and give the Bison a six-run lead.

Carlisle added its final two runs in the fifth. Connor Fields walked to start the inning then stole second and third base, and crossed home plate after a wild pitch.

Hayden Hoover also walked, stole second, and advanced to third on a passed ball. Hart then singled to bring Hoover home to give the Bison a comfortable 8-0 lead.

Poyen (11-4, 2-0) was able to put a run on the board in the top of the seventh when Wesley Crowder hit a two out double that sent Tyler Emerson home to make the score 8-1. Will Smith, who came in to relieve Mathis in the fifth, struck out Ryan Hicks to end the game.

Four Bison had base hits in the game, but it was the strong pitching and solid defensive play that stole the show once again.

“I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never had a team where I’ve had as many pitchers as this,” Greene said. “Trey’s (Wilson) our number one, hands down. Will Smith had thrown one inning up to this point. Last year he was second on the team in innings pitched, and he threw one inning before today.

“Pitching is by far right now the most pleased I am with anything, because we’re getting outs on a consistent basis. We threw two pitchers today and they threw a total of 78 pitches, so that’s good.”

Hart and Wilson led Carlisle hitting. Hart went 2 for 3 with two singles. Wilson was 2 for 4 with a single and double. Mathis and Inman had a hit apiece.

Carlisle (13-2, 4-0) will try and continue its winning ways tomorrow when the Bison host conference rival McCrory in a doubleheader that will decide who takes control of the 2A-6 Conference.