Solid pitching, spotless defense and timely hitting.
Free State High’s baseball team had it all working Friday evening, shutting out Blue Valley Northwest, 7-0, in a makeup game at FSHS.
“Pitching and defense were the name of the game for us today,” FSHS coach Mike Hill said. “I thought Trent Johnson was really good. He got ahead of people and threw strikes, and certainly we played our best game (of the season) defensively.”
After the game resumed with two outs in the top of the first, Johnson worked 42⁄3 innings for the Firebirds (11-1), allowing only three hits, striking out two and walking none.
Colin Toalson relieved Johnson with one out in the sixth and struck out four to shut down the Huskies (4-7).
“It was probably one of the easiest games I’ve ever pitched,” Johnson said. “All I needed to do was throw strikes, and the defense had my back. I didn’t have to worry about anything.”
The Firebird offense only collected seven hits but five went for extra bases, and Free State also capitalized on four errors and stole five bases.
Tim Lewis put Free State on the board in the first with an RBI triple that plated Cody Kukuk and then was doubled home by Montana Samuels.
In the third, Kukuk doubled home Preston Schenck, before scoring on a well-executed double-steal with Joe Dineen.
Toalson rapped an RBI double in the fourth. After an error and a walk loaded the bases, Lewis walked to bring Toalson home and make it 6-0.
FSHS added a run in the fifth after a walk and stolen base by Dylan Perry, who came around to score after the Huskies committed their fourth error of the night.
“We get on base, and (the next guy) can drive them in,” Lewis said. “It’s pretty hard to stop a team that can do that.”
The Firebirds will play at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Olathe Northwest.