The Creston baseball team got timely hits and pitcher Beau Barncastle worked out of several jams in a 6-2 Hawkeye 10 Conference home win over Atlantic Friday.
Barncastle scattered eight hits and struck out three in the win, working ahead of Atlantic’s hitters most of the night.
“I think it was just that first pitch strike,” Creston head coach Steve Birchard said. “Beau generally works around the zone. The umpire had a little bit of a liberal zone, I thought, and that was good for both pitchers. Beau was a battler. He was near his limit on pitches, so we were really watching that.”
With Creston leading 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning, the Trojans loaded the bases with one out. But, Barncastle and the Panther defense worked out of the jam.
Michael Scherer sprinted in to catch a liner in shallow center field and then fired a strike to Jaden Driskell at home plate to double up the runner trying to score from third base after tagging up.
One inning later, Atlantic once again loaded the bases, this time with no outs. Atlantic pushed one run across on a Mason Goergen sacrifice fly, but Barncastle limited the damage to just one run.
“That was huge. Beau gets one himself and then you get a little popup there,” Birchard said. “We talk about minimizing and that was the epitome of it right there with no outs and giving up only one run with the bases loaded.”
The Panthers got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning when No. 9 hitter Garrett Dahl sent a two-out, two-strike pitch into right center field for a double, scoring Dustin Merritt and Gavin Gillam.
In the bottom of the third inning, Eli Loudon led off with a single and stole second base, before Jaden Driskell hit a high fly ball over the left field fence for a two-run home run to put the Panthers up 4-0.
“It kind of got in on my hands,” Driskell said. “I actually hit it off my handle and didn’t think I got very much of it. Had a pretty nice breeze blowing to left field. Good things happen when you put a good swing on it, I guess.”
The Panthers tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Dahl drove in a run with an RBI fielder’s choice and a run scored on an Atlantic balk.
The Panthers used contributions from the entire lineup in the win.
“Dahl did a nice job. He ended up with two hits. That was really big for him,” Birchard said. “(Luke) Latham, he’s been at the top of the lineup and he got that big hit at the end to keep things going.”
Barncastle worked an easy top of the seventh inning to finish the complete game victory for the Panthers.
“He was throwing his fastball really well tonight, locating it in and out,” said Driskell. “We went up on a lot of guys, which when Beau is throwing hard, we can do that.”
Creston improved to 3-8 overall for the season and 2-5 in the Hawkeye 10 Conference with the win. Atlantic, which entered the game in third place in the Hawkeye 10 Conference, dropped to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the conference.
“Atlantic has been playing pretty well and we have not. Us getting that, I would say it was a total team thing,” Birchard said. “We’re getting some confidence, I think. We battled through.”
Creston hosts Red Oak (2-8 overall, 0-7 in Hawkeye 10 play) tonight (Monday).
Creston 6, Atlantic 2
R H E
Atlantic 000 011 0 — 2 8 1
Home 022 002 x — 6 9 0
Atl: Noah Bruckner 3K 1BB, Mason Goergen (6) 0K 1BB and Cooper McDermott. Cr: Beau Barncastle 3K 3BB and Jaden Driskell. W — Driskell. L— Bruckner. HR — Cr: Driskell. 3B — none. 2B — Atl: Jaxson Eden; Cr: Garrett Dahl. RBI — Atl: Goergen 1; Cr: Dahl 3, Driskell 2. Multiple hitters — Atl: McDermott 3, Chase McLaren 2; Cr: Dustin Merritt 2, Dahl 2.
The Creston JV team picked up a 7-3 win over Atlantic Friday.
The win improved the Panther JV team to 4-3 for the season.
Hunter Fry and Evan Bruce combined on the hill in the win, with Fry pitching four innings and Bruce closing out the final two.
Fry also knocked three base hits, including a pair of doubles, while driving in two runs in the win. Gage Skarda added a pair of singles and two RBIs. Keagan Smith drove in one run in the win.