Magna • It had been 17 days since Cyprus’ ace Parker Loutensock last took the mound. On Wednesday, his return for the Pirates could not have come at a better time as they defeated the Kearns Cougars 4-0.
The hard-throwing righty was strong from start to finish as he was popping the catcher’s glove through the seventh inning, but for a long stretch of the game, Kearns’ Nate Seltsam was right there with him.
Storylines » Cyprus 4, Kearns 0
» Cyprus’ Parker Loutensock throws his fourth shutout of the season.
» Kearns’ Nate Seltsam also went the distance in a strong performance.
» Cyprus strands five runners in first two innings.
"They’re a good team and [Seltsam] has been beating pretty much everyone in our league, so we know it was kind of do or die," Cyprus coach Bob Fratto said.
While Kearns struggled to get on base against Loutensock, Cyprus batters found themselves in position with several early opportunities. But the Pirates failed to plate a base runner until a three-run fifth inning, when Walker Nicholes singled up the middle for the first two runs.
Loutensock was clicking from the get-go and all he needed was a little bit of breathing room.
"I told them if we get one run, we’ll win the game — simple as that," Loutensock said. "They weren’t going to score on me, I was dealing."
Sure, Loutensock was returning from shoulder tendonitis, but he was feeling good, going strong, and his team needed this win. There would be no prying the ball out of his hand.
"After we got those three runs it was basically, ‘You’re going to have to come fight me to take me out. I don’t care what that pitch count is, I’m finishing.’ [As a coach] you want to hear that," Fratto said.
The shutout was Loutensock’s fourth in five starts this season, but more importantly, it provides his team with a much-needed boost in region play.
"It’s a huge win for us because we need all the wins we can to stay alive and get a good playoff berth," Fratto said.
As the Pirates enter their last half of region play, it is a comforting feeling knowing their ace is back.
"We’re not a one-man team, but we’re pretty good when he’s out there," Fratto said.
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