Baseball: Aurora Central Catholic smashes Plano
For someone who puts pitching first, Jake Smith can handle a bat.
Smith ripped 3 doubles Tuesday against Plano, driving in 5 runs during the Chargers' 13-3 victory.
"I've always been a pitcher first but I've always been taught to be aggressive early in the count and be good situational hitting and always hit the ball hard," Smith said. "I was planning to be really aggressive in the count and take nice, aggressive swings."
Smith's first double came in the first inning and drove in the first 2 runs of the game. He also doubled to lead off the fourth and nailed a 2-run double in the fifth.
All of Smith's offense supported himself on the mound. He didn't allow a hit in his 3 innings of work, overcoming 3 walks by striking out 7 to improve to 2-0.
"I'm feeling healthy, my arm feels great," Smith said. "I calmed myself, kept my composure and kept my focus and pounded the strike zone."
Aurora Central Catholic (3-0) broke the game open with 4 runs in the second with just 2 hits in the inning -- Michael Bieterman's RBI single and an infield hit by John Belskis.
Plano (1-2) only had 2 hits the entire game. After facing the big righty Smith, a senior, the Reapers got a look at lefty sophomore Sean Sinisko who fanned 5 while walking 4 in 2 innings.
"That has been the Achilles' heel for this program for 3 years," Plano coach John Parpet said. "We don't hit quality pitching. It plays major mind games with us."
That Smith-Sinisko 1-2 punch has the Chargers thinking big things this spring, possibly even bettering last year's 25-win season.
"They are kind of working some kinks out early in the year," Chargers coach Sean Bieterman said. "They are both tremendous pitchers. They are two of the better arms in the area. We're excited they are with us. We're trying to limit them to a few innings here and there so when the right time comes they are ready to go. Those two are going to go a long way with us."
Belskis doubled to deep left in the fourth to score Mario Magana for a 7-0 lead. Plano cut it to 7-2 without a hit in the fifth before the Chargers scored 3 times in the fifth and 3 more in the sixth.
Belskis and Bieterman each had 2 hits for the Chargers who ended the game in the bottom of the sixth after Plano walked 3 straight, dropped a fly ball in left field and threw a wild pitch allowing the 13th run to score.
Aurora Central will try to continue its strong start next week with 5 games in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
"It looks like a cool experience, a lot of fun for our guys," Bieterman said. "We're constantly trying to get better. Once we get guys going offensively I think we can do things. It's one of the best groups I've had."