Ryan rolls Central McLean in region opener
Potent production at the plate and sound pitching guided Bishop Ryan baseball to its first Region 6 wins Tuesday at Jack Hoeven Park.
As they did with Rugby on Monday, the Lions pounced on Central McLean early in both games of the doubleheader.
They scored five first-inning runs in the opener, which ended in an emphatic 21-0 Ryan victory. In Game 2, they plated seven in the first en route to an 11-0, three-inning final.
The Lions have outscored their opposition by a combined 42-0 score through their first three games, a welcomed sight for Ryan coach Brent Nelson.
“Any time you can put up three shutouts in a row, that’s pretty good,” he said.
Of their 42 total runs, the Lions have scored 19 in the first inning. Defensively, they’re still perfect with no errors committed in the field.
The Ryan pitching staff, which combined for eight scoreless innings Monday, is quick to give credit to its defense.
“We just have to get the ball in play,” said senior pitcher Tyler Allers, Game 2 winner. “You’ve just gotta throw it in there, and the defense will do the rest. We’ve been working a lot this spring on defense, and it really shows out there with the shutouts.”
Allers pitched a perfect three innings in the nightcap, striking out seven of the nine batters he faced.
“We kinda beat them up in the first game, so I knew what to expect,” Allers said. “I just go out there, throw the ball and don’t think too much.”
Central McLean’s staff seemed to thinking far too much.
The Cougars walked 11 Ryan players in Game 1, including four in a second inning when the Lions amassed 18 batters. By the end of that inning, Ryan led 18-0.
Such lopsided results point to Central McLean’s inexperience. The Cougars have one senior, one junior and three sophomores on their roster. The rest is composed of freshmen (3), eighth-graders (4) and seventh-grade pitcher Trapper Jacobs.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids that are expected to play a lot of innings and do a lot of things for us,” Central McLean coach Daren Kurle said. “Our biggest thing is that we have a lot of young kids who play in the spring but don’t play in the summer. That hurts us.
“But Bishop Ryan is good. They’ve got a good program, good kids.”
Ryan senior Mason Kramer chipped in two extra-base hits, including a two-run triple in the second inning of Game 1. He scored four runs on the day.
As a team, the Lions racked up 24 hits in the doubleheader. Nelson wants to see more of the same.
“We talked about it before,” he said. “If we can put up double digits on offense, we’re gonna be in good shape.”
The number of innings Ryan has played makes its offensive production particularly impressive.
Against Rugby, the Lions were interrupted by their 10th run, which brought the game to an end with two outs in the fourth inning. Against the Cougars, Ryan’s offense needed six innings at the plate to score 32.
In less than 10 full innings, the Lions are scoring an average of 4.3 runs per frame.
But does that make them a powerhouse?
“We don’t know yet,” Allers answered. “We’ve gotta try and stay sharp in these one-sided games and make sure we do everything crisply.”
The Lions take on Sawyer at 4 p.m. tomorrow on the road, a team they defeated 22-3 in 2013.
Joe Mellenbruch covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @Mellenbruch_MDN.