Bountiful • With only two games left in the regular season, the Bountiful Braves needed to beat the Cyprus Pirates if they were to have a hope of securing a No. 2 seed in the state championship tournament.
Senior Ricky Medrano took the mound for the Braves even though he had just pitched a complete game Friday against Woods Cross. Medrano pitched another complete game, this time shutting out the Pirates and allowing only two hits in a 1-0 victory. The win keeps hopes alive for Bountiful to play one more home game this season.
"I went up to him after the game [on Friday] and I said, 'Do you think you're going to be able to throw Tuesday,' and he said 'Absolutely,' " head coach Clark Stringfellow said about Medrano. "There's not a better pitcher in the state that throws strikes, that keeps the ball where it needs to be and mixes his speeds up really well."
Both pitchers were sharp, as evidenced by the score, but the Pirates' Parker Loutensock got off to a rough start. He gave up a single on the first pitch of the game, then hit the next batter to put a runner in scoring position. Stringfellow's son, Ryan, was the third Brave to come to the plate, and his line drive earned him the only RBI of the game. After Loutensock hit the next batter, the bases were loaded with no outs.
But then he settled in. He retired the next three batters to get out of the inning with minimal damage.
But the Pirates weren't able to solve Medrano and get back into the game. He had masterful control of his speed and placement.
"All I did was come in and throw strikes. That's all I do," Medrano said. "I love foul balls, I live off them â¦ so I just keep throwing the same pitch and they'll strike out every once in a while."
Clark Stringfellow said he doesn't think his team is peaking just yet, but that they are rising. To continue that rise, the Braves will have to beat Highland on Wednesday and they will have to do so without the services of their senior ace, who has earned himself some rest.
Bountiful 1, Cyprus 0
R Senior Ricky Medrano posts a complete-game shutout.
• Ryan Stringfellow's first-inning hit scores the game's only run.