Lutheran West lost in a pitcher’s dual to Firelands 1-0 last night behind great pitching by DJ Robinson (L, 2-2). Robinson threw a complete game four hitter, but was outdueled by Firelands’ pitcher Mike Kelley. Robinson struck out five and completely baffled Firelands’ hitters all game, but fell just short in the one hour and 17 minute game. West falls to 8-5 on the season with the loss. Firelands is currently ranked #18 in the D2 OHSAA State Poll.
The game had tremendous symmetry. In the top of the first, Robinson got the first two outs. Then he threw an 1-2 knuckle ball to Firelands #3 hitter Aaron Urban that didn’t knuckle. Urban drilled it for a double. Urban scored on a single by Firelands clean up hitter Tyler Ruth on the next pitch. Robinson didn’t falter again, never allowing Firelands to send more than four batters to the plate in a single inning the rest of the game.
In the bottom of the first, LW tried to do the identical move. After the first two Longhorns were retired to start the inning, Longhorn junior Zack Keller ripped a double to center field. Robinson, batting cleanup for LW, tried to knock him in with a line drive to left field. But the Falcon left fielder was able to catch the sinking line drive for the inning-ending out to end the Longhorn threat. West would only manage one other runner on second base for the rest of the game.
Defensively, West shut down the vaunted Firelands run game. Robinson picked off a runner from first base in the third, and Longhorn junior first baseman Aaron Blaine threw out a runner at home in the seventh. Firelands had tried to score a runner from third on a ground ball to Longhorn third baseman Ben Cruz. Cruz fielded the ball, looked the runner back and then threw to Blaine at first to get the first out of the play. The runner at third took off for home as soon as Cruz released the ball to first but wasn’t fast enough to get under the throw from Blaine to Longhorn catcher Jake Gross at the plate.
West is scheduled to play seven non-conference games in the next two weeks before they play their next conference opponent on May 10.