Getting a good game out of your starting pitcher gives you a chance to win any ball game.
Getting a complete game shutout from your starting pitcher means you win every ball game.
That's just what Sidewinder pitcher Alec Wroten was able to provide June 6 against Houk League opponent the Durham Bulls.
Wroten pitched a full six innings of four-hit shutout baseball, and the Sidewinders offense did the rest as the team blanked the Bulls, 11-0.
"Alec pitched a really really good game and we hit the ball well. This win is pretty much on him," Sidewinders coach Kyle Brown said.
The Bulls' coaches were awed with Wroten's performance.
"He's probably the best pitcher we've faced," Bulls assistant coach Scott Wiley said.
The Sidewinders set the tone of the game early, scoring two runs when Jacob Sanchez doubled to score Aaron Johnson and Ryan Miller in the first inning.
Bulls starting pitcher Ryan Heskett worked his way out of the inning, getting Wroten to hit a ground ball for an out and striking out Evan Clothier to strand Sanchez at third base.
Wroten struck out the side in the bottom of the frame.
The Sidewinders added another run in the second inning when Johnson's ground ball plated Adam Meyers. The team tacked on two more in their half of the third inning on hits by Miller and Meyers.
Wroten and Evan Clothier both crossed the plate for the Sidewinders in the fifth inning, putting them up by a score of 7-0.
The inning featured a fine play from Bulls third baseman Thomas McClees, who fielded Meyers' ground ball cleanly and gunned down the runner at first.
With Wroten dispatching almost every Bulls hitter he faced, the Sidewinders were in good shape going into the sixth and final inning. Still, they added some insurance runs, scoring four times and taking a 11-0 lead.
The Bulls had a final chance to get on the scoreboard in the sixth inning when Jackson Wiley doubled to lead off the inning.
After Wiley swiped third base, the shutout was momentarily in doubt. But Wroten settled in, striking out the next two batters and then getting Joshua Ricley to ground out to second base and end the game.
Wroten's stat line read like a game from a Cy Young winner. No runs, four hits, one walk and 11 strikeouts. Ricley, Nick Mills, Sam Welborn and Wiley had hits for the Bulls.
Miller went 2-3 with a walk for the Sidewinders, and Meyers went 2-4.
The Bulls coaching staff wasn't overly concerned with the loss.
"We've been playing really well up until tonight," Bulls' head coach Mike Becker said. "I do feel really good about this team. We're going to win some more games."#