MOUNT VERNON — Another strong outing by starting pitcher Ben Hoar and a five-RBI performance by left fielder Alec Curry helped lift the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets to a 13-3 victory over the visiting Delaware Pacers in Ohio Capital Conference baseball action on Wednesday.
Hoar (2-0), who tossed a six-hitter, threw over 110 pitches while striking out six and only walking three. After a shaky second inning, where he yielded a pair of earned runs, Hoar cruised the rest of the way.
“His pitch count was up today from what it normally would be,” said Mount Vernon (5-0-1, 2-0 OCC) coach Doug Savage. “As the game wore on, I think he got a little bit better command and ended up getting his second varsity win of the season.”
Along with Curry, teammate Kody Green added three RBI, went 3-for-4 and made a defensive gem on a great backhanded stab at third to rob Delaware second baseman Nate Stuntz of a hit, and getting the first out in the fourth inning.
“Kody had a big game for us,” said Savage. “He came up throwing across the infield to get the runner (Stuntz). Probably the best game Kody has had this year and it couldn’t come at a better time.”
With two out and two on and with no score in the bottom of the first, Russell Doup (1-for-1, two runs scored) hit a grounder toward the right side of the infield. The Delaware defense got crossed up and Doup, chugging down the first base line, was able to dive headlong and reach first safely. Doup got an infield hit and broke a scoreless tie with an RBI, plating shortstop Kolton Wilson (1-for-3, two runs scored).
“When I hit it, I saw that the first baseman (Delaware’s’ Nick Ratliff) was kind of going over to second,” said Doup. “When I saw that, I knew I was going to try to hustle to beat him. I dove because I thought he was going to tag me and I was trying to get low enough so he couldn’t tag me. I ended up being safe because the first baseman didn’t know whether to flip it to the pitcher or tag the base himself.”
“That was the momentum-starter, going our way,” said Savage. “The first baseman wasn’t sure if he wanted to run the ball or flip it to the pitcher. Just that little bit of indecision and Russell was there, safe.”
That set the table for Curry (3-for-3) to get his first pair of RBI when he drove across Doup and first baseman Justin Edwards (2-for-3) with a single. That put the Jackets ahead, 3-0, in the first.
“Russell really set that up by hustling down to first base and getting there,” said Curry. “We had two runners in scoring position and Coach Savage always stresses for us not to leave them out there. I did my best and got a nice hit in the gap.”
“Alec did a nice job,” said Savage. “We put him in that No. 6 hole in the lineup and the reason he’s in the middle of the order is that we believe that he can drive in runs for us.”
Curry repeated that feat in the very next inning, plating Edwards and Wilson. Green followed later in the inning with a 2-run double to make it a 10-2 Jackets’ advantage.
Delaware starter Brandon Johnson allowed 11 earned runs in his four-innings of work and was tagged with the loss.
Riley Swanson came on for Doup in the fourth and went 2-for-2 while Hoar was 1-for-3 at the plate along with a sacrifice fly. He was also hit by a pitch.
“We just came out and played hard,” said Curry. “That’s what we want to do in every game and we did that. We came out in the first inning and scored a couple. In the second we really took off. We set the tempo and that is what we’ve got to do.”