WICHITA—They're the kind of games Kolton Schenker loves to pitch. The kind of games where every little play counts.
And for Monday's pitching duel between Schenker and Collegiate's Max Moxley, two players who are familiar with each other, this game needed extra innings to be decided.
"I've pitched against that kid probably 20 times, and it's been just about like that every time," Schenker said, "and I was just glad to get the win."
Schenker and Moxley pitched shutouts through seven innings in Game 1 of Augusta's baseball team's first game against the Spartans. It wasn't until the eighth when Mason Hiser slid home after a passed ball that a run was even put on the scoreboard. Collegiate gave the Orioles a bit of a scare in the bottom half of the inning, but Tyler Roberts came through with a save to finish the 1-0 victory.
"Great game. It's great for the kids," coach Doug Jefferson said. "We didn't make any mistakes and they did. We capitalized on the two mistakes there on wild pitches and passed balls."
Ian Rogers pitched four solid innings and the offense struck hard for a 4-0 lead after two innings as the Orioles went on to prevail in Game 2 by a score of 6-3 to complete the sweep. Augusta is 4-0 to start the season.
In the opener, Schenker struck out eight batters in commanding fashion. He only allowed two hits and let only a few more balls even leave the infield most of the game. He walked three batters.
"My split was on pretty good, and I was kind of getting around my curve ball," Schenker said.
Schenker had great defense backing him up. Chase Winter, who hit the ground several times to make catches, had a superb day fielding the ball.
"Kolton threw a great game, Chase Winter made, I don't know how many plays, over there at second base. Everyone stepped up," Jefferson said.
"It's nice to have those, and the young kids learn from that," Jefferson said of Winter's effort.
Even on one of Collegiate's three hits, Michael Albright came within a step or two of making a sensational diving catch for the out.
"It's just great to see guys behind you that are making that effort," said senior catcher Tyler Roberts, who made some gritty defensive plays as well.
The Orioles had two baserunners on with no outs to start the second inning, but they didn't execute a bunt quite the way they would've liked as they got caught in a double play.
Similarly to Schenker, Moxley certainly had his moments of brilliance. Moxley finished with eight strikeouts of his own and allowed just three hits and three walks.
Page 2 of 2 - But in the eighth inning, mistakes cost Collegiate. Mason Hiser drew a lead-off walk, then moved to second on a bunt by Winter. With Roberts at the plate, Moxley threw a wild pitch on one play, then had a ball get by the catcher as Hiser moved around the bases and slid home for the game winner.
Hiser had a hit and two walks for the Orioles.
"I just wanted to hit the ball because I didn't hit the ball very well against El Dorado," Hiser said.
"We have hitters who can hit the curve ball," Hiser added about the team's offense. "He always threw first-pitch fastball, second pitch curve."
Michael Albright had a base hit and probably would've had a two-RBI hit if a shot he made carried a few more feet into centerfield. Connor Hurst had a single, as well.
"It's a good win, especially what we did in the first one, having the composure to get that one score and then hold them," Roberts said.
In Game 2, Schenker got his only hit of the day—a solo shot over the right-field wall in the first inning for his second home run of the season.
In the second, Hurst and Hiser both had RBI base hits during a three-run inning for a 4-0 Oriole lead.
Rogers kept the shutout going until the start of the fifth, when he had to leave the game with what he said were cramps. Collegiate's Forrest Short later connected on a two-RBI double and Moxley added an RBI single in the inning to cut Augusta's lead to 6-3.
Jacob Johnson extended the Orioles' lead with an RBI single in the seventh to score Albright, who got on with a base hit.
Roberts drew two walks and had a sacrifice RBI. Hurst was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run. Albright and Winter were 2-for-4.
Though Collegiate made it interesting, Hiser closed out the game with five strikeouts, two hits and two runs.
"That's one of the things I told them we really got to work on is how to continue that and put teams away instead of letting them back into it," Jefferson said.
Augusta will play its home opener Thursday against Circle. The doubleheader starts at 4 p.m