Thirteen of the 14 frames on Wayne County’s scoreboard was plastered with zero’s.
A four-run top of the fourth and nine strikeout performance by Dustin Dickerson was enough to push West Jones past Wayne County 4-0 Thursday night on the road. The Mustangs improve to 2-0 in Region 5-5A with the win and 12-1 on the season.
“Dickerson did a great mound on the mound for us,” said West Jones head baseball coach Trey Sutton. “We’ve come to expect that every time he goes out. He’s solidified himself as one of our top arms. You know what you’re going to get out of him every time.”
The junior right-arm hurler tossed a complete outing, shutting out Wayne County and allowing just five hits and one walk. Over half of Dickerson’s nine strikeouts came in the first two innings. After striking out two in the first frame, Dickerson struck out all three Wayne County batters he faced in the second.
“He fills the zone up and throws three or four [consecutive] pitches for strikes,” added Sutton. “He’s always going to give us a good chance to win.”
Dickerson improves to 3-0 on the mound for the season.
Wayne County threatened Dickerson’s shutout performance with runners on third twice in the contest, but two above-average defensive plays in the field by the Mustangs’ defense saved the night.
Offensively, West Jones managed only five hits in the win. Nearly all the Mustangs hits, four to be exact, came in the four-run fourth inning.
“You have to give some of the credit to Wayne County’s arms,” Sutton said. “They kept the ball down in the zone and mixed it up. If you do that, you have a shot to be successful. And they did a great job of that tonight.
“But I challenged our guys to get better at the plate. We pitched a played defense pretty well all season, so my challenge to them these next couple of days at practice and going forward is to get better at the plate. If we can string together more innings like that fourth, then it will make us even more dangerous.”
Dickerson led at the plate Thursday night as well, banging out two hits including an RBI single to right field that scored West Jones’ third run of its four-run fourth.
Walter Thompson, Colton Harris and Haden Bryan also finished with singles on the night. Bryan led in RBI with two, singling in Harris and Adam Bassett for the first two West Jones runs in the fourth.
West Jones had its chance to break open the game in the first inning but left runners stranded on every base.
“That all goes with improving offensively,” said Sutton. “Two out hits and hits with runners in scoring position wins ball games for ya. So, that’s another thing we need to improve on offensively. When we get them on, we have to get them in.”
Wayne County starting pitcher Tanner Johnson took the loss on the mound, allowing four runs on five hits in five innings of work.
The War Eagles fall to 9-5 on the season and 0-2 in Region 5-5A.