CHURUBUSCO — It’s only two games into the regular season and Churubusco baseball head coach Mark Grove is already seeing a drastic difference from his team’s start a season ago.
Starting 0-5 last season, the Eagles have dealt out the losses to open March.
A 1-0 shutout victory by senior Dylan Herendeen Tuesday helped Churubusco beat Leo erasing any fears of a slow start.
Thursday, ’Busco stood behind another senior pitcher in Braxton Siddons. The second-year transfer from Carroll fanned 17 batters and threw a no-hitter to give the Eagles their second consecutive shutout 3-0.
“I’ll take that,” Grove said, smiling as he talked of Siddons performance. “The neat thing is we’ve had two senior pitchers on the mound and they kept their composure and taken care of business.”
The 17 strikeouts for Siddons, by the coaching staff’s account, is a seven-inning record for most batters struck out.
In 22 at-bats, Woodlan struggled against Siddons with a combination of off-speed pitches and a hard fastball sitting down eight consecutive batters at one point Thursday.
Churubusco leaned on Siddons early as a scoreless game went into the fourth inning. Siddons struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced until the first of two errors earned Woodlan a baserunner.
Two hits early on didn’t amount to any runs for Churubusco.
The Eagles broke through giving Siddons a lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
In his first start as an Eagle, freshman Kody Poyser drove a ball down the right field line for a two-out triple.
Woodlan’s only error of the game was costly on the next at-bat. Pinch hitter Justin Norris sent a dribbler to third base beating out a bad throw.
Poyser gave Churubusco the 1-0 lead scoring on the error.
Warrior pitchers Ryan Rickert and Brad Barker combined for six innings on the mound limiting the Eagles for the most part. Rickert was dealt the loss in four innings giving up three hits and one unearned run.
’Busco used two hits off Barker to pad its lead in the sixth inning.
“We lost some games we shouldn’t have (to start last year),” Grove said. “It looks like this year the kids have kind of made up their mind that their going to take care of business.”
A leadoff double in the gap by senior Ryan Farlow got the Eagles offense rolling.
Fellow senior Brent Owen drove in pinch runner Hayden Kilgore on the next at-bat with an RBI single down the left field line.
Churubusco finished with Siddons on the mound recording the last nine outs by way of strikeout.
The Eagles put up seven hits in the game led by a 2-for-3 night at the plate for Owen.