Freshman pitcher Jeffrey Quire fired a one-hit shutout, his defense played errorless baseball behind him and his offense cranked out 15 hits as the Frankfort High Panthers earned a much-needed 10-0 win over the Williamstown Devils Saturday afternoon at Charlie Figg Field.
The Panthers improved to 6-5, while Williamstown fell to 0-5 in a game called by the mercy rule in the fifth inning.
Frankfort jumped on the Devils right out of the gate, scoring two runs on four hits - singles by Conner Slone, Collin Harris, Ben Griffin and A.J. Bramble - along with one Williamstown error.
The Panthers added one run in the third on singles by Harris, Jordan Dean, Griffin and Bramble, and broke it open with five runs in the fourth.
Jared Stephens, Quire and Bramble all had singles in the fourth, Harris hit a two-run double and the several other Panthers executed well at the plate in that frame to break the game open.
Pinch-hitter Dennis Martin doubled in the FHS fifth and Harris and McKinley Stonewall each singled to spark the final two runs for Frankfort that ended the game.
But the hits tell only part of the story offensively for the Panthers, who successfully put the ball in play when and where they needed to throughout this affair.
And it was all supported by sterling pitching from Quire, who gave only a second-inning single to Williamstown’s Zach Rose.
Quire struck out six batters and walked just one.
“This was a good win today for us, a GOOD win,” Franfort head coach Anthony Russell said. “It’s a big lift. We’ve been on the skids for about three games.”
Russell was understandably thrilled by the pitching performance by Quire.
“He was spot on today,” Russell said of Quire. “He kept them off balance the whole day. They had only one hit, and the balls they did put in play ... we didn’t make one error. Our defense backed him up today. So you get good hitting and good defense, add in some hitting for a change, and that’s how you get a win.”
Russell said Quire can throw hard, but doesn’t need a blazing fast ball to be successful most of the time.
“He can spot the ball where he needs to,” Russell said of Quire. “And he can run it up pretty quickly when he wants to. He throws about three different off speed pitches, and he can put them in spots on the plate.
“I wish we could teach every kid you don’t have to throw it 90 (miles per hour) to be a successful pitcher.”
“I didn’t feel like I really needed to throw it as hard as I could today,” Quire said. “But I hit my spots the best I could, and I had my defense behind me and they were really good. We didn’t have any errors, and if we bobbled a ball, we picked it right back up and threw them out. And our offense was better than it has been the last couple of games. We had some nice bunts and gap shots.”
“This is a big, big boost to our confidence,” Quire added.
Harris had a double and two singles to lead a balanced, potent FHS offense. Slone and Bramble had three singles apiece, Griffin had two singles, Martin and McKinley Stonewall a double each and Stephens and Quire one single each.
Frankfort returns to district play Wednesday at Western Hills.