Early lead, pitching propel Harvey to win

SURREY – Harvey Legion Baseball coach Olson Zerr wrote a simple, two-act play for his team to produce Monday at Surrey High School.

Act I: Get ahead early. Act II: Throw strikes.

First baseman Brady Bachmeier, right fielder Evan Nitz and pitcher Landon Littlefield starred for Harvey as it followed its coach’s script to a tee in a 13-2, five-inning win over the Surrey Blue Sox.

After each team plated a run in the opening frame, Bachmeier and Nitz each scored in a three-run second inning, four-run third inning and four-run fourth inning as Harvey (6-1) put up 11 unanswered runs to claim a 12-1 lead.

“We had bases loaded in the first inning, second inning, third inning and fourth inning,” Zerr said. “That helps out a lot when you can do that.”

Bachmeier finished 2 for 2 with three runs, and also was hit by a pitch and drew a walk. Nitz went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs. He also reached base on an error.

On the mound, Littlefield settled down after an erratic first inning, not allowing an earned run the remainder of the game. Surrey scored once more, in the fourth, as a result of two Harvey errors.

With a steadily increasing lead, the trip to the mound was less of a chore and more of a thrill for Littlefield. It helped him play his role well, he said.

“Once we get runs, it makes the pitcher get pumped up and want to throw harder and better,” the left-hander said.

Littlefield pitched all five innings for Harvey, allowing two runs – one earned – on six hits and a walk, while striking out six to notch the win.

Surrey coach Jeremy Feller noted that Littlefield kept the Blue Sox “off-guard just enough to affect us.”

“He definitely hit his spots when he was up there,” Feller said. “When we did hit the baseball hard, we hit it right to somebody, unfortunately.”

Meanwhile, Harvey compiled 12 hits and benefited from six Surrey errors, which led to five unearned runs.

“We definitely had timely errors,” Feller said. “It seems like when we did have one, it hurt. (Errors) usually find a way to come back and hurt you.”

Dylan Enget took the loss for Surrey, which fell to 1-4 in section play. The lefty lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed nine runs – seven earned – on 10 hits. He walked two and struck out a pair.

Zerr had little directing to do as his team cleanly followed the script. Nitz drove in one final run in the fifth before Littlefield drew three flyouts in the bottom of the frame ending the game on the 10-run rule.

“The key thing for us is we have to get runs ahead right away,” Zerr said. “We do better when we’re up big.

” And the big thing with Landon is that he has to throw strikes. If he wants to be successful, he has to throw strikes.”

Harvey won the five-inning nightcap – which didn’t count toward the section standings – 8-6. Andrew Hershey went 2 for 4 and recorded the win for Harvey, while Cole Jones suffered the loss.

Ryan Holmgren covers Legion baseball and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgrenMDN.