ST. ELMO – Senior Connor Beasley set the school record for strikeouts, and the Eagles offense took advantage of several Brownstown errors to pick up a win on Monday night.
Beasley struck out 19 batters in a record-breaking performance that left the Bombers with just two hits and St. Elmo with an 8-0 win in one of the last games between the two schools before they co-op in baseball next season.
“He started right where he left off after the Pana game (a 6-1 win last Thursday),” said St. Elmo coach Ryan Beccue. “He had command of his pitches, and went right after them.
“When he is on, he is tough to beat.”
Beasley had 15 strikeouts through the first five innings of the game, and finished off his night by breaking Logan Mahon’s record by one.
Eight of his strikeouts came on a called third strike.
“Anytime you strike out 19, you did well,” said Brownstown coach Ken Milano. “He made us chase some bad pitches, and then worked the count from there to take care of business.”
Beasley’s fastball looked nearly unhittable at times, with Brownstown’ best hitters often failing to make contact with good swings.
Bombers senior Austin Hunter was the only player to put the ball in fair territory twice, but neither ball left the infield, as Hunter reached on an error in the first and grounded out in the sixth.
“It looked like he picked up 5-10 miles per hour on his fastball tonight from what he had last week,” said St. Elmo senior catcher Garrett Bartels. “When he needed to go to the breaking pitch against their better hitters, he was able to locate it well.”
The game was a stalemate through three innings, with the Eagles (3-3) able to get just three hits off of Brownstown junior Jacob Behrends, who allowed one earned run in the game.
Junior Dalton Parks led off the bottom of fourth inning with a double, and he scored two batters later when junior Nick Bauer also doubled.
Senior Ben Davis followed with a single, but the Bombers (1-5) then committed four errors to allow three more runs to score, and Bartels brought home a run on a fielder’s choice.
“I like the way we are playing,” Beccue said. “Our guys are focused, and were ready to go tonight.
“We had a lot of hard-hit baseballs and heads-up base running,” he said. “We always preach tacking on one more run.”
With a lead, Beasley went right back to work, striking out the side in the fifth, and getting the first two batters in the sixth to strike out.
He threw just five balls in those two innings.
“Before the game, coach told me to throw strikes and I’d be successful,” Beasley said. “Garrett called everything right, I hit my spots and it worked out.”
St. Elmo added to the lead in the bottom of the sixth, with freshman Colton Rogers singling to open the inning off of reliever Calvin Boggs.
After being sacrificed to second, Rogers would advance to third on junior Levi Maxey’s single and score on an error.
Maxey stole second and took third and home on passed balls, while Bartels later walked and scored on a single from Beasley.
“We didn’t see a lot of live anything until the games started,” Milano said. “A lot of teams are in the same boat of learning as we go.
“If we can figure out how to get a run or two across the plate, we’ll be OK.”
Monday, April 8
St. Elmo 8
WP: Beasley (2-1); 19 K, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB
LP: Behrends (0-2); 5 IP, 5 K, 5 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 1 BB
Eagles: Parks, 3-for-4, 2B, run, SB; Beasley, 2-for-4, RBI; L. Maxey, 2-for-4, run, SB; Rogers, 1-for-3, 2 runs; Bauer, 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, run; Bartels, 1-for-3, RBI, run, SB, BB; Davis, 1-for-3, run; Malachi Maxey, run, BB, SB, sac bunt.
Bombers: Boggs, 1-for-3; Behrends, 1-for-3; Dustin Lawson, BB.