LONGMONT — The summer hasn't been too kind to Silver Creek summer ball pitcher Dylan Kramer but on Thursday he took matters into his own hands to get back on track.
Facing a talented Eaton lineup, Kramer fell one out short of a complete game while remaining the pitcher of record in a 4-3 win. With the Raptors rolling the way they are in late June, getting one of their top hurlers back in the mix would be huge heading down the home stretch.
"I was pretty confident today," Kramer said. "I had my off-speed stuff today so I kept them off balance and I was locating pretty well. I had a few on base but I battled and got the win. This helps me build confidence and hopefully I can finish my next start all the way through seven."
Kramer said he has made a few simple tweeks to his mechanics that appear to be alleviating his early-summer struggles. Against the Reds, Kramer scattered seven hits and three runs across 6 innings while striking out eight batters. Aided by a three-run Raptors first and an insurance run in the fourth inning, Kramer allowed his third earned run with two outs in the seventh. Andrew VanDyke entered with runners at the corners and induced a fly out to center field to close out the game.
"That was a big step for us, especially Dylan," Raptors head coach Chad Olinger said. "He's been having kind of a rough summer. He was great today and we also have to give Andrew credit for stepping up with two outs and first-and-third, and he gets it done. They're both good kids and they put it together to get the win today."
Raptors (13-3) have won 11 of their last 12 games. In their three games prior to Thursday's win, the Raptors totaled 44 runs. But against Eaton, they managed to score four runs with just three hits in large part to some solid base running and timely hitting.
"We're definitely starting to get better and learn how to do the little things," Olinger said. "That's pretty much what this whole summer is about. We've definitely been swinging it and defensively and pitching, we're starting to figure it out. Tonight was a good example. We managed to score a couple runs and make the plays we needed to win the game."
The Raptors, who went 14-6 in the spring prep season, will host another perennial power program in Rocky Mountain on Monday.
Silver Creek 4, Eaton 3
At Silver Creek H.S.
Eaton 001 100 1 — 3 7 2
Silver Creek 300 100 0 — 4 3 2
W — Kramer.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ramirez 2-1-0-0, Olinger 3-0-0-0, Browne 2-1-1-1, Call 3-1-1-0, Bush 1-0-0-0, Smedley 3-0-0-1, Carlough 3-1-0-0, Kramer 1-0-0-0, Borrego 2-0-1-1, VanDyke 2-0-1-1. Totals 20-4-3-3. SB — Borrego, Browne.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kramer 6.2-7-3-3-2-5, VanDyke 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.