The new-look Brownstown Central baseball team showed few signs of its youth on opening day.
Six players took their first varsity at-bats, and a pair of sophomore pitchers controlled the pace of play, as the Braves shut out Moore Traditional, of Louisville, Kentucky, 4-0 to start the 2018 season Monday.
The victory also marked the inaugural win for first-year coach Brandon Tormoehlen.
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In the first inning, the Braves jumped to an early lead.
Pitcher Isaiah Wineinger tossed a pair of strikeouts, and the Braves’ bats came out hot.
Wineinger led off with a double and Seth Borden followed with a single to put a pair of runners on base. Ian Martin then blasted a two-run double to right-center field to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.
Following a scoreless second inning, Borden hit an RBI single in the third to score Matthew Garland from second base to push the lead to 3-0.
Neither team put up a run in the fourth or fifth innings.
Wineinger was substituted for Eli Brown on the mound to start the fifth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Gus Hogan bunted to score courtesy runner Lucas Hines from second base, giving the Braves a 4-0 advantage going into the seventh.
Brown maintained the save in the final inning to secure the win.
The Braves finished with six hits and no errors.
Wineinger pitched four innings with no hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Brown recorded four strikeouts, two hits, one walk and no runs in three innings of work.
“The pitching was great,” Tormoehlen said. “They came out and threw strikes. They made Moore earn everything that they got. The defense played well, too. I told the guys in our meeting that if we throw strikes, keep the defense involved, keep the game moving, and force them to get three hits for a score we would be in good shape. Defensively and pitching-wise, that’s what we did tonight.”
Tormoehlen said that the first win as head coach was special.
“It feels great,” he said. “This program means a lot to me. The crowd we had tonight was great. I was just thankful to get it in. Yesterday we got here at noon and there was an inch of snow on the ground.”
Weather permitting, the Braves will travel to Orleans tonight and to South Decatur on Thursday.
“There were some first-game jitters,” Tormoehlen said. “Those first at-bats are the toughest. It’s not like you’re in mid-season form. I knew we would struggle a little bit, but I think we will build and there will be a natural progression as the season goes on.”