If you've got it, flaunt it.
The "it" in this occasion is pitching, and few local teams may be as endowed as the Boyd-Buchanan Buccaneers. Tuesday's impressive 5-1 win over Notre Dame put the Bucs' resource on display as four hurlers combined to hold the hard-hitting Irish to four hits.
"Our staff was great for seven innings today," said Boyd-Buchanan coach Josh Rider. "They kept us in the game when we couldn't get our bats going."
With Tuesday's game only the third of the season for the Bucs, each pitcher's work is being limited as team pitching coach Clay Parker follows the same philosophy as professional teams in the spring.
Starter Skyler Anderson, only a sophomore, worked three innings, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out five; Josh Antwine followed with two hits, allowing an unearned run with four strikeouts; Nathan Murrell got the win with a perfect sixth inning, striking out the side; and Colten Parker work a hairy seventh, striking out a pair but throwing two wild pitches.
"Two sophomores, two juniors," Rider said. "I don't which of them will be 1 through 4, but everyone you saw today will be throwing in crucial games."
Parker, son of the Bucs' pitching coach, might get first crack at being their full-time closer, Rider hinted.
For six innings, the Buc pitching contingent was matched pitch-for-pitch by Irish ace Nick Chambers. The righthander blanked the visitors on one hit through the first four innings, Rance Harden's first-inning single the only blemish.
Notre Dame broke the scoreless deadlock in the fourth.
Chambers' hustle earned him an infield single, and a stolen base earned him third on a throwing error. With one out, Matt Roueche struck out on a bouncing pitch, and Chambers raced home to record the hard-earned run.
But the Bucs tied it in their following at-bat. Boyd-Buchanan catcher Reid Smith got the ball rolling with a base hit, and his courtesy runner got second on a wild pitch by Chambers. Antwine, batting eighth, singled just past the outstretched glove of Jared Andrews for an RBI single.
The 1-1 tie remained in place until the seventh.
Smith, a three-year senior starter for the Bucs, led off the inning by blasting a double to deepest center field. Hunter Payne singled to right, moving the go-ahead run to third. And at that point, the Irish defense buckled and consecutive throwing errors allowing a four-run inning to form. Antwine and Murrell had RBIs in the inning.
"Nick Chambers is a great pitcher, a great competitor," Rider said. "I don't think we've ever been able to get to him until the fifth or the sixth inning any time we've faced him."
For the 2-1 Bucs, Smith had a pair of hits and Antwine two RBIs. Chambers and Gage Miller had two hits each for the 4-2 Fighting Irish, but the four Bucs' pitchers combined to strike out 14 without a walk. Chambers struck out six in six-plus innings.
Boyd-Buchanan 000 010 4 -- 5 6 1
Notre Dame 000 100 0 -- 1 4 3
Anderson, Antwine (4), Murrell (6), Parker (7) and Smith; Chambers, Linehan (7) and Hargett.