Lutz shuts down Carey
BUCYRUS – On Sunday in the major leagues, the Chicago White Sox suited up in their 1980s-style uniforms. White Sox lefty Chris Sale was nearly unhittable, tossing a one-hit shutout against the Angels.
Monday in a Division III sectional semifinal in Bucyrus, the host Redmen donned similar uniforms and got a similar result. Another lefthander hurler, Austin Lutz, tossed a gem to lead his team to victory.
There was no 95-mile-per-hour fastball, but Lutz handcuffed Carey hitters all afternoon. When it was all said and done, Lutz threw a two-hit shutout – where only one of those hits left the infield – in a 7-0 Bucyrus victory.
“I didn’t see 95 with a change-up that can tear up those lefties, but he was our Chris Sale tonight,” Bucyrus coach Jeff Fisher said. “He was our player of the game.”
Austin Tschanen had a bunt single in the third inning and Dylan Musgrave laced a single to left in the seventh. But that was all the offense Carey could muster against Lutz.
“He did a good job of changing speeds and we just didn’t hit the ball very hard, and wasn’t very aggressive at the plate,” Carey coach Joey Roark.
Bucyrus wasn’t raking the ball all over the yard either, only managing three hits on the day, but some Carey defensive lapses, coupled with eight walks allowed by Blue Devil pitching, were costly in ending the Blue Devils’ tournament run.
The Redmen took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Preston Ford reached on an error and eventually came around to score off a wild pitch.
The score remained the same into the third inning when Carey starter Matt Holsinger struggled to find the strike zone. The first four batters of the inning walked allowing for one run. Holsinger came back to strike out Cole Hollis, then nearly got himself out of the jam by getting Levi Wendling to ground back up the middle for a possible double play. But the Blue Devil defense couldn’t make the play and the third Redmen run crossed the plate.
Bucyrus scored two more that inning off a fielder’s choice and another-bases loaded walk to open up a 5-0 lead.
“That’s kind’ve been us all year, we not very good defensively,” Roark said. “Someone needs to step up and make a play and help the pitcher out when he’s struggling. Just haven’t done it all year. … When you only give up three or four hits, you can’t give up seven runs. That’s been us all year; can’t throw strikes.”
Prior to that, Carey had its own chance to break the game open in the top half of the inning.
Carey loaded the bases with one out off a pair of walks and Tschanen’s bunt single. But a strikeout and a fly ball to center ended the threat.
“We’re down 1-0 there in the top of the third, had bases loaded, one out and had a guy strike out, and that’s a killer.” Roark said. “You got to put the bat on the ball in that situation and we didn’t; could’ve had a big inning. After that, that was pretty much it. We only got a couple hits. Guys hit the ball, we only had four strikeouts I believe. They hit the ball, but it wasn’t very hard and it was right at somebody.”
Fisher credited his senior for working himself out of trouble, and the defense behind him for coming up with plays.
“Austin is a guy that you look at the stat sheet, that is about 50-50 strikeouts to walks and he’s got some wildness in him at times,” Fisher said. “I thought defensively, if he just puts the ball in play, pitch to contact, then good things will happen. And he did that. He kind of found his command a little bit and was able to work out of it.”
Carey never posed a serious threat to Lutz again. Only one more runner reached as far as second base and that came in the seventh inning. Bucyrus meanwhile pushed across two more in the sixth for the final margin.
Bucyrus (8-12) moves on to face top-seeded and No. 3 state ranked Ontario in the sectional finals. Carey (5-15) ends its tournament run but still has five games remaining on its schedule.