After Wednesday’s game, Cyprus pitcher Parker Loutensock was grinning ear to ear. The sophomore won his second game of the year, holding East to only two hits while striking out five.
"This was really important to us," Loutensock said. "I’m at a loss for words."
He also got all the run support he could handle. The Pirates coasted to an easy 15-1 victory over the defending Region 6 champions and sent a clear message. At 4-2 on the year, Cyprus, the new kid on the block, is a team to be reckoned with in Class 4A.
East started off the game in grand fashion. With two on, Cyprus sophomore Jordan Quinn hit a line drive straight into the glove of first baseman Chase Barney, who tagged his base, wheeled around and threw a bullet to second baseman Preston Curtis, making a rare triple play.
Unfortunately, it would be the end of East’s brilliance in the field. The Leopards struggled on defense the rest of the game, recording three errors that led directly to Cyprus scores.
After a 0-0 battle the first two innings, the Pirates broke it open in the third. With the bases loaded, junior Travis Peterson’s shot into left rolled through the outfielder’s legs and to the fence. All three baserunners scored, while Peterson was caught at third. Cyprus would go on to bat around in the inning, and scored five runs off six hits.
East pitcher Samuel Shepard allowed seven hits before coach Tony Siciliano replaced him at the end of the third, but it didn’t stop the bleeding. After Loutensock struck out two to end the third inning, Cyprus’ batters picked up where they left off in the fourth, earning four more runs.
"We said we had to get this first game and play well," Cyprus coach Bob Fratto said. "We wanted to play hard, play fast — I feel we did all the things it takes to win. I was really pleased."
For the game, Cyprus shortstop Walker Nicholes went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, while second baseman Brady Gallegos went 2 for 2 with a double and an RBI before having to leave the game after taking a hard slide by East’s Parker Van Dyke.
The two teams play again Friday at Cyprus, a game Fratto feels will be equally important.
"You want to be greedy in these," Fratto said. "You don’t want splits. If you get the first one and lose the second, it really doesn’t mean anything."
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