LISBON – In the seventh inning, Lisbon pitcher Andrew Dubois’ nerves got the better of him.
After striking out his first batter and inducing his second into a fly ball to center, Dubois threw 12 balls and just two strikes over his next 14 pitches to load the bases.
“I was just trying to bear down a little too much,” said Dubois. “I came back and got the batter instead of worrying about the runners.”
The rookie pitcher, making just his second career start, set down Hall-Dale’s No. 3 hitter, Shane Abbott, on the second pitch of the next at-bat, capping a complete-game two-hitter, and lifting the Greyhounds to a 5-1 win over the Bulldogs at Lisbon High School on Wednesday.
“That was one of the better games we’ve played all year,” said Lisbon coach Randy Ridley. “We played solid defense, got clutch hitting and we had a great performance on the mound.”
Lisbon (6-3) was solid in the field for what Ridley called “the first time in a while” in the win. In particular, Adam Nailor, the Greyhounds’ right fielder, made three consecutive catches for outs in the fifth and sixth innings to thwart any hopes of a Hall Dale rally.
“The past few games we’ve been averaging four or five errors,” said Ridley. “Today, it was very solid baseball.”
Dubois, meanwhile, used several first-pitch breaking balls and the advantage of being a left-handed pitcher to keep the Hall-Dale lineup off-balance all afternoon.
“I had to try to keep them off-balance,” said Dubois. “The curve ball is different because instead of coming at you and breaking away, it breaks into you.”
“He threw well, hit his spots and we couldn’t put the barrel on the ball,” said Hall Dale coach Brian Perkins.
The Bulldogs (3-6) did manage some base runners on five Dubois’ walks, though three of those came in the final inning. The one Hall-Dale run, which came in the top of the fourth, resulted from one of its two hits, two consecutive wild pitches and an error on Lisbon third-baseman Devan Knight. The other Hall-Dale hit was an Abbott lead-off single in the sixth.
“They came through when they needed to and got the kits when it mattered and we couldn’t,” said Perkins.
Lisbon didn’t exactly need a lot of lead to mark up their hit column, either, managing just six hits in as many innings. The difference was in the timing.
“When it mattered, we got the hits,” said Ridley. “We’d been missing that.”
Dubois singled and scored in the third to give the Greyhounds their first run, and Payton Austin walked and scored in the fourth before the team exploded for three in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Maxx Hathaway, Knight and Dubois all scored in that frame.