Barnes strikes out six, gives up one hit in PLAS win

Published 11:08 pm Monday, February 18, 2013

Just three days before the first game of the season, Pike Liberal Arts head coach Butch Austin said his team wasn’t ready to start the season.

On Monday afternoon, the Patriots, the defending AISA 3A state champs, knocked off the 4-time defending AISA 2A state champion Edgewood Wildcats 2-1 at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy.

Senior Taytom Barnes got the start on the mound for Pike Liberal Arts and turned in a masterful performance. Barnes went five innings, struck out six Edgewood batters, allowed just one hit and left the mound with a shutout.

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“We knew he would struggle at times being that it is the first games of the season,” said Austin. “But he was able to work out of some tough spots and we got five really good innings out of him. He showed a lot today.”

While Barnes stifled the Edgewood offense, the Patriots were having a tough time with the bats as well. Pike had only two hits on the afternoon, but were able to plate two runs in the second inning.

Robert Benton singled up the middle, and moved Myles Loving to second. Loving had reached earlier in the inning on a walk. Dustin Newman, the next batter, laid down a bunt looking to advance the runners in to scoring position.

The throw went awry for the Wildcats while attempting to throw out Newman, allowing Loving to score. Benton would later score on a passed ball.

“They had a couple of errors in the second that helped us along,” said Austin. “Getting Loving and Betton on is the start of something good. We are going to be alright if we can get runners on early.”

Edgewood would score a late run on a wild pitch, but wouldn’t get any closer, thanks to a hustle play by catcher Brian Adams.

Adams fielded a wild pitch off the backstop and raced back to home plate, just beating the tying runner, for the third out of the the sixth inning.

Chandler Avant closed the game out for the Patriots by stiking out the side in the seventh inning.

Though Pike nabbed the win, the longtime coach wasn’t fully convinced.

“We still aren’t ready to really go at it, I don’t think,” said Austin. “We are still working on some things but are getting there.”

Benton and Newman led the Patriots at the plate, each with one hit. Loving and Benton scored for Pike Liberal Arts. Barnes picked up the win, and Avant was scored for the save.