OTTAWA – After two tough Interstate Eight Conference losses to archrival La Salle-Peru, the Ottawa baseball team was in need of a solid pitching performance to reverse its latest fortunes.
The Pirates received that much-needed outing from junior Rylan Dorsey.
The right-hander recorded his fourth win of the season against no losses by tossing 103 pitches, allowing one earned run and striking out nine during a complete game, leading his team to a bounce-back 8-2 IEC victory over Plano on Wednesday afternoon at King Field.
“My mentality was I knew we needed to get back on track, so I came out, threw a pretty good first inning and just tried to repeat that for seven innings,” Dorsey said. “I started to get a little fatigued at the end, but I made it through and we got a big win.”
Dorsey also collected two hits with a double, a single and an RBI to help Ottawa (12-5, 6-3 IEC) ease the sting of having lost the past two to L-P.
“Rylan attacked the zone early, and that’s what we expect from our pitchers,” OHS coach Tyler Wargo said. “Our defense wasn’t sharp at all times today, but Rylan battled through it, got out of some jams, did a great job and we really rebounded in a very good way after losing a couple of difficult ballgames to our rivals.”
Plano (6-15, 2-6) had a difficult time with Dorsey, striking out eight times in the first four innings while managing only two hits.
Although the Reapers loaded the bases in both the fifth and sixth innings, they could not score in either inning, which hastened their undoing.
“[Dorsey] really threw well early, and we finally got to him a little bit but couldn’t get the big hit when we needed to later in the game when we had some very solid chances,” PHS coach Nate Hill said. “I liked the fight, however, from our guys after we fell behind early, and they never gave in. It was obviously a frustrating finish for us, but I liked how we fought until the end.”
The Pirates jumped on Plano starting and losing senior pitcher Eric Perez (6 IP, 5 ER, 13 H, 1 K, 2 BB) with four runs in the bottom of the first inning.
With one out, senior Luke Cushing (three hits) singled to left, stole second and scored on junior Ryan Chamberlain’s (two hits) RBI single down the left field line.
Junior Aiden Mucci followed with a base hit that was misplayed in the Plano outfield, allowing Chamberlain to scamper home from first while Mucci rambled to third.
Dorsey then blasted an RBI double to center to drive in Mucci, and Dorsey eventually scored on a passed ball to give OHS a 4-0 lead after one inning.
“It was one of those days where I felt good on the mound and also at the plate,” Dorsey said. “Getting that big hit early helped get us started and then I was pitching with a solid lead.”
Indeed he was, although Plano did tally its first run in the top of the fourth when, with one out, senior Manny Marin tripled to right-center and eventually stole home as the Pirates fell asleep in between pitches to cut Ottawa’s lead to three.
The Pirates added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Mucci RBI single. OHS padded that four-run lead with three more off Perez in the sixth on an unearned run and run-scoring at-bats from juniors Connor Price and Daniel Bruner (two hits) to push the Pirates’ lead to 8-1 after six innings.
The Reapers got an unearned run in the seventh after sophomore Kaden Aguirre reached on an error and scored on Marin’s sacrifice fly.
But Dorsey completed the win by inducing a ground out on pitch 103.
“It was a great day for me and our team, no doubt,” Dorsey said. “This win gives us a lot of confidence moving forward, for sure.”