Lane fans 15 as Eagles blank Twin Valley

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ARLINGTON — As the weather has heated up, so has Arlington sophomore pitcher Jack Lane. On Thursday, Lane was on fire from the first pitch, racking up 15 strikeouts in a 9-0 complete game shutout over Twin Valley.

"My curveball was working today, I don't know if Twin Valley [was] ready for that today," Lane said. "So we started calling it more, we knew we could go after [the hitters] today."

Lane was in complete command the entire game, throwing less than 100 pitches. He allowed five hits in seven innings and didn't walk anyone in his outing.

Lane allowed a hit to Joey Rafus in the first, but struck out seven of the first nine hitters he faced, getting the other two outs on a comebacker and a fly to right.

Rafus got a hit in the fourth inning as well, but Lane induced another comeback and a strikeout to stop the threat.

"Jack's first two games against Granville and Leland & Gray, he pitched well, but then he had some arm trouble, so we sat him out," said Arlington coach Tim Stewart. "This warm weather he's had the last two starts, he's back to where he should be come playoff time."

At the same time, the Eagle offense was working well, scoring three runs in the first and second innings to give Lane a 6-0 lead.

In the first inning, Jared Lacoste reached with a hit and Wil Stewart was walked to put two guys on and Lane helped himself with a two-run base hit to get the early lead. Two batters later, Darren Golden drove in a run to make it 3-0.

In the second inning, Kolby Wilkins walked to lead off the frame and after a fielder's choice by Jacob Smith, Bailey Cross added a base hit. Lacoste fanned, but the next two hitters, Stewart and Lane, picked him up with RBI knocks.

"It keeps me calm to have a lead," Lane said. "I know if I do give up a run, I know we can get it back. I have a lot of confidence in my teammates to do that."

Darren Golden was 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Stewart scored twice. Lane helped himself with a 2-for-3 day with three RBI and two runs scored.

Arlington had a chance to pile on in the third, loading the bases with no one out but Twin Valley starter Alan Cole stranded all three runners.

Cole took the loss, pitching five innings and allowing seven runs. He struck out four and walked four.

Arlington finished off the game with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. In the fifth, Colin Duffany led off with a single to center and Wilkins reached on an error by the Wildcat shortshop. Dan Rhoads came up next in only his second varsity game and dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt, reaching himself when the pitcher through the ball away. Christian Dresser, pinch running for Duffany, scored the team's seventh run.

"I'm happy for Dan, he put down a great sacrifice bunt for us," Stewart said.

In the sixth, Arlington scored the last two runs on four walks and a hit.

In the seventh, Lane allowed the leadoff hitter to reach but he struck out the final three batters to finish off the game on a high note.

"Jack and Bailey [Cross] are working well together as a battery," Stewart said. "Jack is only a sophomore, but he has a lot of experience. I'm confident that we can compete."

Arlington improves to 5-6 on the season and the five victories is the most in a season since the team took a season off with low numbers.


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