LONGMONT — Silver Creek pitcher Jack Carlough is pretty tough to hit once he finds his rhythm on the mound.
Especially with an injury-depleted pitching staff and after a rough start to the 2018 campaign, the Raptors need for Carlough to find a groove and stay in it if they're to have the kind of season they are hoping for this spring. The senior found that rhythm around the fourth inning of a 7-1 win over Centaurus on Thursday.
Once he settled in, Carlough went the distance and racked up eight strikeouts while allowing just five hits in his first career complete game.
"The first three innings I was trying to find my off-speed pitches and I started to feel really good in the fourth inning," Carlough said. "After that, it kind of came together. My defense played really well behind me so I definitely have to give them a lot of credit."
The Warriors (2-4, 0-3 Northern) scored their lone run of the conference game off Carlough with a pair of hits and some small ball the top of the third inning. Once he was able to locate his curveball in early counts and as a two-strike out pitch, Carlough scattered three hits and struck out five of the final 14 batters he faced to lower his ERA to 5.09 after a rough first start against Thompson Valley the Thursday prior.
At the plate, Justin Swenson led the Raptors (2-3, 2-1 Northern) with a pair of triples, the first of which scored two runs during the Raptors' five-run second inning. Charlie Jackson and Davin Villapando each also had two hits for a Raptors club that is inching closer to .500 since opening the season with a 1-3 record.
"We needed a win and I think overall we were clean," Raptors head coach Mike Apodaca said. "We still need to be more disciplined at the plate but after a couple tough losses, we needed to get on the other side of one. Today, we gave Jack enough runs in support and took care of business defensively so that he could stay in a rhythm because that's when he's at his best."
Warriors sophomore Jack Battistelli drove in his team's run with a one-out single that scored Taylor Herbstreit from second base in the third frame. Thursday's loss was the Warriors' third straight since beginning conference play last week.
The Raptors and Warriors will conclude their two-game conference series at Noon on Saturday at Centaurus.
Silver Creek 7, Centaurus 1
At Silver Creek H.S.
Centaurus (2-4, 0-3) 001 000 0 — 1 5 1
Silver Creek (2-3, 2-1) 050 110 x — 7 9 1
W — Carlough. L — Herbstreit.
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Battistelli 3-0-1-1, Meskers 3-0-1-0, Erickson 2-0-1-1, Shepherd 3-0-1-0, Rizzi 3-0-0-0, Van Tassel 3-0-0-0, Blare 3-0-0-0, Herbstreit 3-0-1-0, Whiton 2-0-0-0. Totals 25-1-5-1. SB — Battistelli 2.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Wegleitner 3-1-1-1, Swenson 4-2-2-2, Magill 4-0-1-1, Olinger 4-0-0-0, S. Rich 3-0-1-0, A. Rich 3-0-0-0, Jackson 2-2-2-0, Ordway 1-1-0-0, Villapando 3-1-2-2. 2B — Magill. 3B — Swenson 2. SB — Jackson 2.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Herbstreit 2-5-5-5-2-2, Blare 3-4-2-2-2-2, Meskers 1-0-0-0-0-0.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Carlough 7-5-1-1-1-8.