Baseball: Greenhills uses strong pitching, big bats to improve to 11-0 on the season

 

It was a busy week for the Greenhills baseball team and sometimes busy in baseball is not a good thing – unless you are lucky enough to have a ton of pitching and some lively and consistent bats. Fortunately, the Gryphons check both those boxes and checked off six more wins off the schedule to improve to 11-0 on the season.

“We’ve played clean, beautiful baseball,” said coach Thomas Ward. “Our defense is certainly a strength and we’ve averaged just one error per game while turning several double plays and making difficult plays in the outfield.

“I’m proud of the progress of our junior hitters, in particular Gabe Seir and Owen Klein. They have allowed the top of our lineup to hit in advantageous situations.”

As a result, leadoff hitter Aidan Brewer is on a Trout-like tear. The senior already has amassed 17 RBI on the season.

“Our starting pitching has been excellent,” Ward said. “We have five starters that can be trusted in any situation which has been key to our start.”

On Saturday, Greenhills took a pair from Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes. They won the opener 6-2 and cruised to an easy 12-0 win in the nightcap.

In the opener, junior Henry Branch went a complete game giving up just one earned run and striking out seven. In game two, Seir struck out nine in five innings and was 2-for-4 at the plate. Brewer hit two home runs in the second game; a solo home run in the fourth and a grand slam in the sixth.

Brewer struck out seven in three innings to earn the win in a 14-0 victory on Thursday over Taylor Prep. Brewer had three hits and five RBI. The bottom third of the order went 5-for-8 as the entire lineup was productive – again.

On Tuesday, the Gryphons swept Frankel Jewish Academy, 8-0, 9-3. Senior Alex Schneider struck out nine in seven shutout innings in the opener. In game two, Brewer had a two-run triple to lead a rally and secure the sweep.

The week started with a 2-1 win over Jackson Lumen Christi.

The game was well played and scoreless through four innings.  Lumen Christi broke the deadlock in the bottom of the fifth, scoring a run. In the top of the seventh, Greenhills put together a rally. Schneider came up with a clutch RBI single to tie the game and Owen Klein drove in the go-ahead run. Brewer struck out five batters in two innings to earn the win and close out the game.

“The bottom half of our order has been especially productive,” Ward said. “Owen Klein is the sole player in the starting nine that didn’t start last year. However, he’s hit .318 at the bottom of the lineup. He’s been able to get on base and turn over the order for our sluggers which has allowed us to be very productive without needing to play small ball.

“Owen also made a diving catch in centerfield against LC that was key in the win. Coming into the year, my biggest question was how could the bottom half of our lineup do? So far, they’ve exceeded expectations.”

Seir has had a breakout season at the plate so far. He is hitting .333 with three extra base hits. Senior captain Alex Winning is second in hits (to Brewer) with 12 hits in 37 at bats. Winning has the second most RBI (9) on the team.

Greenhills has a conference double header against Detroit Cristo Rey followed by a non-conference matchup with Monroe St. Mary’s Catholic Central.

“Cristo Rey has given us trouble in the past and has some quality pitchers,” Ward said. “SMCC is one of the best teams in class C. While we’ve had great results thus far, there are many minor details that we can improve on, especially if we want to come out on top against Cristo Rey and SMCC. It should be a fun week.”

 

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