STREATOR — After Monday's eight-run loss to Herscher in the teams' Interstate Eight Conference opener, the Streator baseball squad was hoping to get off to a better start in the final game of a two-game set here at the SHS Athletic Fields on Tuesday afternoon.
The Tigers just didn't allow that to happen.
Herscher leadoff hitter Tyler Jarnagin rocketed the first pitch of the game off Bulldogs starting and losing pitcher Hunter Telford to the bottom of the fence in left-center for a triple to begin a five-run first frame. The visitors would go on to add two more tallies in the second, then one each in three of the next four frames.
Meanwhile, Tigers' starting and winning hurler Logan Fritz (4 2/3 innings) and reliever Justin Walthers (1 1/3) combined to allow just a pair of hits while striking out 11 as Herscher — which ended with 14 hits, including seven for extra bases — rolled to a 10-0 victory in six innings.
"The most disappointing thing in my mind right now for us is that we have been getting ourselves into fastball counts, 2-0s and 3-1s, but then are watching good pitches go down the middle of the plate," said Streator coach Beau Albert, his team now 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the I-8. "We aren't a very good curveball-hitting team right now, and we are whaling away at them because we're behind in the count.
"We are just watching too many fastballs go by right now."
Anthony Koranda followed Jarnagin's game-opening three-bagger with the first of his four hits on the day to make it 1-0. McKinley Keenan drove in Koranda with a double, then the former scored on an opposite-field, two-out base hit by Luke Cross. Fritz then helped himself with a two-run single to make it 5-0. Koranda smacked a solo home run just over the right-field fence with one out in the second, and Tyler Stuart finished Telford's day on the mound with an RBI single after a double by Keenan.
"Hunter obviously didn't have the start he wanted to, and he left a couple balls up in the strike zone early," Albert said. "When the wind's blowing out and Herscher is a line-drive hitting team, they're going to find some gaps. Their No. 2 hitter (Koranda), heck, I don't know if he has made an out the past two days, and he hit the ball all over the place."
Herscher (9-1, 2-0) made it 9-0, scoring unearned runs off reliever Trevor Sember in the third and fifth before plating their 10th run — on a sacrifice fly by Jarnagin — in the sixth off Vern McKinley.
Streator's lone hits of the contest were a Brett Dresbach infield single to break up the no-hitter leading off the fifth and Joey Byers' infield base hit to short in the sixth.
"Logan was pretty tough on the mound for us. He didn't have his pinpoint control, but he was able to effectively use his curveball after getting ahead of hitters," said Herscher coach Eric Regez.
"We put together solid at-bats all the way around today. We had timely hits, especially in two-out, two-strike situations, and did a really good job hitting the ball the other way. Jumping out to an early lead was a big key for us as well."
At SHS Athletic Fields, Streator
Herscher 10, Streator 0 (6 inn.)
HERSCHER (10) — Jarnagin ss 4-1-1-1, Koranda rf 4-4-4-2, McCormick pr 0-0-0-0, Keenan 3b 4-2-3-3, Mullin ph 1-0-0-0, Stuart 1b 3-0-2-2, Becker ph/1b 1-0-0-0, Engelman lf 2-0-0-1, Hubly c 2-0-1-1, Cross cf 2-1-1-1, Harrod cr/ph/cf 1-1-0-0, Volk 2b 4-1-1-0, Fritz p 2-0-1-2, Feller ph 1-0-0-0, Walthers p 1-0-0-0. Totals 32-10-14-9.
STREATOR (0) — Phillis cf 1-0-0-0, Cantrell rf 1-0-0-0, Dutko ph 1-0-0-0, Benckendorf c 3-0-0-0, Byers ss 2-0-1-0, Grabowski lf 2-0-0-0, Colter cr/ph 1-0-0-0, Sharisky 2b 2-0-0-0, McGurk ph 1-0-0-0, Dresbach 1b 2-0-1-0, Telford p 0-0-0-0, Sember p 2-0-0-0, Vickers 2-0-0-0. Totals 20-0-2-0.
Herscher (9-1, 2-0) 521 011 — 10 14 0
Streator (3-4, 0-2) 000 000 — 0 2 4
LOB — Herscher 11, Streator 5. 2B — Koranda, Keenan 2, Hubly, Volk. 3B — Jarnagin. HR — Koranda. SB — Byers. SF — Jarnagin, Engelman. HBP — Hubly (by Sember).
Herscher ip h r er bb k
Fritz (W) 4.2 1 0 0 4 9
Walthers 1.1 1 0 0 0 2
Telford (L) 1.1 8 7 5 1 0
Sember 3.2 5 2 0 2 4
McKinley 1.0 1 1 1 1 1