AURORA — The Skyline baseball program is riding three straight winning seasons but the 2016 club is young and inexperienced, to say the least.
The Falcons returned only two starters from last year and those players are a junior and sophomore. Knowing this, the Falcons knew they would have to work hard for every victory and couldn’t let any winnable games slip through their fingers this season. Tuesday’s game against Aurora Central was a winnable game.
The Falcons didn’t let it slip.
Picking up their first win of the season, the Falcons (1-2) put together an all-around solid game to defeat the Trojans 12-0 on the road.
“It feels good,” first-year Falcons head coach Travis Schlagel said. “Coming off two losses, we knew that we should beat this team and we did what we set out to do. We have a really young team and everyone played a part today so it’s great to get this win with conference play coming up.”
The Falcons didn’t waste any time against winless Aurora Central (0-3), working five walks and scoring nine runs in the first inning. Junior Caleb Zietlow, who drove in three runs in Tuesday’s game, tripled in the first inning to drive in the first run of the game and spark the nine-inning frame.
Picking up three more hits on Tuesday, Zietlow is off to a 6-for-10 start to the season at the plate.
“He’s swinging a really hot bat right now,” Schlagel said. “He’s been great so far.”
The Falcons scored three more runs in the second inning to build their double-digit lead against the Trojans, who helped the Falcons by walking 10 batters in the game. Three Falcons pitchers combined to throw a one-hit shutout and clinch the five-inning mercy rule win.
Falcons junior Nate Higgins started the game and struck out five batters in three scoreless innings. Juniors Jonah Chrisman and Clayton Eldred combined to throw the final two hitless innings in relief.
“We did what we were supposed to do and that’s the biggest thing,” Schlagel said. “They had some trouble getting the ball over the plate but when we did, we did a good job of hitting it right back up the middle. The pitchers did a good job of attacking batters and the guys in the field played error-free baseball.”
As long as the weather holds, the Falcons will play host to Erie (0-1) on Thursday. The Erie Tigers won 18 games and won the Tri-Valley League title in 2015.
Skyline 12, Aurora Central 0
At Aurora Central H.S.
Skyline (1-2) 930 00 — 12 9 0
Aurora Central (0-3) 000 00 — 0 1 1
W — Nate Higgins.
Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Daniel Terao 2-2-0-0, Caleb Zietlow 4-2-3-3, Nick Hamby 2-1-1-0, Ben Alexander 3-1-1-2, Avery Riddoch 1-0-1-1, Alex Schernecke 1-0-0-0, Jesus Bojoroquez 2-2-1-0, Nate Higgins 2-2-1-0, Braden Blick 1-1-0-0, Chris Seger 1-0-0-0, Clayton Eldred 2-1-1-2. Totals 21-12-9-8. 2B — Bojorquez. 3B — Zietlow. SB — Hamby, Terao.
Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Nate Higgins 3-1-0-0-1-5, Jonah Chrisman 1-0-0-0-0-1, Clayton Eldred 1-0-0-0-0-0.