By KEVIN HARRIS
JEFFERSONVILLE – On Thursday evening at Don Poole Field, Jeffersonville ace pitcher Gabe Bierman showed why he is being recruited by Indiana University.
The Hoosier commit threw a five-hit shutout to lead the Red Devils to a 7-0 victory over Hoosier Hills Conference rival Seymour. Bierman (1-2) struck out 15 Owls in getting his first win of 2017. The lone walk he issued occurred in the seventh inning. Bierman threw 98 pitches.
“Gabe was good tonight. Gabe was very good,” Red Devil head coach Derek Ellis said. “He had 15 strikeouts. His curve ball was working. He was getting ahead of most of the hitters. We wanted him to finish it out because he was pitching really well.”
Bierman’s teammates gave him a nice cushion in the bottom of the second.
Jeff (2-3) scored four runs in the frame, all coming with two outs. Courtesy runner Nick Grider got the first run by coming home from third base on a passed ball.
Red Devil senior Mike Minton extended the lead to 2-0 with an opposite-field RBI double to right field, plating Hunter Schmitz from second. Two batters later, sophomore right fielder Drew Taylor collected a two-run single off Seymour starter Satoshi Hirose to increase the Jeff advantage to four runs.
“I’m more pleased with the approach we had at the plate,” Ellis said. “We talked about that a lot. We knew their pitcher was going to be throwing some off-speed stuff. We knew he wasn’t going to throw the fastball by us. But we had to change our approach and try to stay in the middle of the field with his off-speed stuff. We did a pretty good job of that.”
The Red Devils scored their final three runs in the bottom of the fifth versus Hirose. With two out, first baseman Ethan English smacked a double to knock in Jack Ellis. That was followed by second baseman Bailey Falkenstein scoring on a wild pitch and Schmitz coming home on a passed ball.
Taylor went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and English was 2-for-3. For the Owls (3-4), Alan Perry and Tyler Bloom each were 2-for-3. Hirose got the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits. The right-hander struck out two and walked two.
Coach Ellis lauded the Red Devils’ performance, which he said was much better than when Bierman got the loss in a 5-1 setback to another HHC rival in Floyd Central on April 4.
“You’re playing your conference foe, so you want to come out and you want to play well,” the Jeff manager said. “We didn’t play well with Gabe against Floyd, and that stung a little bit. I was proud of all the guys, even the guys on the bench as well as the guys playing on how they approached the game and how they stayed in it mentally. (I was proud) of the way we approached it at the plate against their pitcher and how we played defense behind (Bierman). It was a really, really good win.”
JEFFERSONVILLE 7, SEYMOUR 0
Seymour 000 000 0-0 5 0
Jeff 040 030 x-7 10 2
W – Gabe Bierman (1-2). L – Satoshi Hirose. 2B – Ethan English (J), Mike Minton (J).
Records – Jeff 2-3, Seymour 3-4.
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