Eagles pitcher silences Hornets, gives offense time to ignite

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Oran's Kody Campbell connected for a hit during Wednesday's game at Advance. (Kit Doyle)

Oran's Chasteen allows two hits in six innings to earn the victory.

Judging by the wildness of Oran starter Alex Chasteen's warmup session heading into the bottom of the first inning Wednesday at Advance, it looked like it could be a short day for the junior.

Chasteen's first warmup skipped past catcher Caleb Seyer, and nearly half of the tosses hit the dirt. When the Hornets stepped into the batter's box, Chasteen found his groove.

Chasteen allowed just two hits, one walk, two hit batsmen and struck out eight in six innings as Oran shut out Advance 13-0.

"It didn't look very good to start off," Chasteen admitted. "I was a little nervous, but it seems like I've started a few games off like that."

Oran pitcher Alex Chasteen held Advance scoreless through six innings Wednesday.

Added Oran coach Mitch Wood: "He's one of those kids you can't really tell how he's going to throw even after the first or second inning. But so far he's done well for us."

The first three Advance hitters all struck out looking, and Chasteen got his first five outs via the called third strike. Much of that damage was done with a split-finger pitch.

"I had pretty good command of it today," Chasteen said.

In fact, seven of Chasteen's eight strikeouts came on called third strikes. All seven of those appeared to be on split-finger pitches.

"I guess I could call it [an out pitch]," Chasteen said. "I've just added it the last few weeks."

Oran third baseman Chris Asmus unsuccessfully dove for a ground ball along the baseline that hopped over his glove during Wednesday's game.

Advance starter Rusty Hendricks held his own in the early going. Hendricks pitched out of jams in the second and third innings to hold the Eagles scoreless through three innings.

Oran (11-1) finally cracked the scoring column in the fourth, thanks to an RBI double from Chase Seyer. Hendricks stranded two more runners in the inning to avoid further damage. The Eagles were back at it in the fifth, adding two runs on two hits and a walk. Seyer and Chris Asmus had RBIs in the inning.

"We hung with them for six," Advance coach Bob Moses said. "Rusty got tired, that was it. But I can't say enough about the effort he gave on the mound. He came to play."

Shaky defense helped put the game out of reach in the sixth inning. Advance started the inning with two errors, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Kody Campbell drove in a pair with a single, and Tyler Beardslee made the score 6-0 with a sacrifice fly.

Hendricks allowed three straight hits in the seventh before being lifted for a reliever. The Hornets committed three errors in all.

Oran's Nick Anderson beat the throw to Advance catcher Nate Middleton to score during Wednesday's game in Advance. (Kit Doyle)

"You cannot give an average team an extra out, much less a really good team," Moses said. "They have a really good team. It's not by an accident they're ranked No. 3 in the state."

Advance had a chance to get back into the game in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with one out. Chasteen struck out the next two batters to strand the bases loaded, and struck out the side in the inning.

In the seventh inning, the Eagles broke things open with seven runs on eight hits. The Eagles had their first six batters reach safely in the inning. Chasteen, Jake Carter and Cody Dirnberger all drove in runs.

Chase Seyer and Asmus led the Eagles with three hits apiece. Seyer drove in three.

"The ballgame was a lot closer than the score," Wood said.

Oran will be back in action this weekend with a pair of games against Cooter and Dexter in the Scott County Tournament at Oran.

Advance (7-3), which played its third game of the week Wednesday, will play three games this weekend at the Mississippi County Wood Bat Tournament in Charleston.

"We're a young team with three starters back and the rest new," Moses said. "We'll get better, and we're getting better all the time."

Oran 13, Advance 0


WP -- Alex Chasteen. LP -- Rusty Hendricks. 2B -- Chase Seyer 2 (O), Caleb Seyer (O). Multiple hits -- Oran, Chase Seyer 3-5; Chris Asmus 3-4; Chasteen 2-4. Records -- Oran 11-1, Advance 7-3.

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