Central junior Dylan Wilson allowed one hit in a complete game and the Cougars offense did the rest on Monday in an 8-2 win over the Mater Dei Knights.
Top-ranked in the Belleville News-Democrat Small School baseball poll, Central (20-4) scored six runs in the first two innings off Mater Dei starter Nolan Robben before coasting to the win at Central High School.
Wilson allowed only a run-scoring double to Robben in the second inning and an unearned run in the sixth, but was in complete control throughout the contest. Pitching with a big lead from the first inning on, Wilson had five strikeouts while walking just one. He finished strong, retiring the final seven Mater Dei hitters.
“There were a couple of times when Dylan was out of his zone, but he did a good job of getting ahead of the hitters, changed speeds well and was able to keep the hitters pretty much off balance for most of the day,” Central coach Kevin Crask said. “We had good at bats and hit the ball hard.”
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Senior Jack Strieker led the Cougars offense with a pair of RBI doubles and a run scoring triple while Jayce Timmermann added a pair of run scoring hits for the Cougars who collected seven hits in the first two innings.
Mater Dei (10-11) bounced back with a run in the top of the second. But Central sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning to break the game open — early.
“Nolan (Robben) had been pitching well recently, but today he got behind hitters and just wasn’t sharp. His location wasn’t where it needed to be and the Central hitters were able to take advantage of it. They hit the ball hard,” Knights coach Travis Gebke said. “We fell behind early and against a pitcher like (Dylan) Wilson, who mixes his pitches well and changes speeds, it’s tough to play catch up.”