SHENANDOAH —Keaton Hulett pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts as the Creston baseball team defeated Shenandoah for the second time in six days, 5-1, here Monday.
Hulett walked only two and the defense behind him made just one error for the Panthers, who also beat the Mustangs in Creston on Wednesday, 7-5.
Coach Steve Birchard said Hulett was solid on the mound in a game where the Panthers couldn’t quite open up a wide margin.
“In the third inning Nate Haley led off with a home run, then we had a single and looked like we might get something big going,” Birchard said. “But we got thrown out stealing and really didn’t rally like I thought we might. Keaton came back and got them in a one-two-three inning. His eight strikeouts is probably a high for us for one guy against somebody in the conference. He was around the zone all night.”
The Panthers gave Hulett a lead to work with, scoring in each of the first three innings to take a 4-0 advantage.
Besides Haley’s solo homer on the first pitch of the third inning, Cole Crawford, Briar Evans and Jon Birchard each had a hit and RBI. Trevor Luther stroked two hits.
“We didn’t hit the ball particularly well, but we took advantage of five walks and two hit batters for seven free passes,” Birchard said. “We left quite a few runners on base.”
Creston is fifth in the conference at 6-5, and now 8-8 overall. Shenandoah fell to 3-6 in seventh place in the league, and 8-6 overall.
The Panthers have a key doubleheader tonight in trying to break into the upper division of the conference, with a varsity doubleheader at Denison-Schleswig (5-4, 7-7).
Creston had 10 hits and took advantage of Shenandoah errors in winning the JV game, 15-7.
“In the first inning their shortstop had four errors and we scored eight runs,” coach Birchard said.
Chase Shiltz had a double and single for the Panthers (5-5). Garret Taylor and Gavin Woods each had two hits, and Kadon Hulett doubled.
Colton Bolinger and Jon Birchard split pitching duties for the Panthers. Bolinger allowed five earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks in two innings. Birchard also pitched two innings with one run and one hit allowed on no walks or strikeouts.
Creston 5, Shenandoah 1
R H E
Creston 121 010 0 — 5 6 1
Shenandoah 000 001 0 — 1 3 0
Cr: Keaton Hulett 8K 2BB and Zach Powers. S: Evan Lindberg, Jackson Baker (4) and Sean Skillern W — Hulett. L— Lindberg. HR — Cr: Nate Haley. RBI — Cr: Cole Crawford 1, Briar Evans 1, Haley 1, Jon Birchard 1; S: Jacob Holmes 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: Trevor Luther 2; S: Zac McCoy 2.