CARTERVILLE — Bryzn Witcher pitched six strong innings and recorded three RBIs to help Du Quoin pick up a 10-5 win over Carterville Thursday in SIRR Mississippi Division prep baseball.
The Indians (9-4, 3-2) avenged a loss to the Lions from earlier this season. Witcher produced two hits and drove in the three runs as Du Quoin jumped out to a 5-0 advantage.
“He stepped it up today, and that’s just what I got done telling him,” said Du Quoin coach Kyle Geiger. “First inning, they got a couple runners on, and we made two huge plays. We had a strike them out throw them out, and then a ball hit in the gap that we relayed in and got the guy out at third. That kind of set the tone for us.”
Witcher gave up just four hits through the first five innings, and the Lions (5-3, 3-2) couldn’t capitalize when they did have runners on base.
“He threw the ball very well,” Geiger said. “I thought maybe the first inning or two, he was kind of all over the place. But he settled in nicely. And he swung the bat well.”
Carterville starter Zach Smith had a difficult time keeping command of his pitches. He hit seven batters in 3 1/3 innings of work. After Tevin Lee ripped an RBI single to right, and Hank Stewart was hit by a pitch, Smith was lifted in favor of Peter Baker in the fourth inning.
Baker retired the first five batters he faced, but he was taken out after the Indians scored two runs off of him in the sixth. Alex Zimmerman and Stewart each hit run-scoring doubles in that frame.
“There are three phases of this game, pitching, hitting and fielding, and we didn’t do any of them particularly well,” said Carterville coach Bobby Jackson. “You have to give credit to Du Quoin because their kid pitched well. They made plays and we didn’t. We gave them too many free looks, and that dug us a hole. But I am proud of our guys for not giving up and making it interesting late.”
Trailing 6-0, the Lions reached the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Brock Tuttle scored on a balk, and Bryce Anderson knocked an RBI triple to make it a 6-2 game.
But the Indians tacked on four more runs in the sixth inning for a 10-2 lead.
“I’ve told the guys all year when we have guys on second and third with less than two outs, we’ve got to drive them in,” Geiger said. “We have gotten a lot better with that in the last week and a half.”