Going against an unbeaten team in the semifinals of the GISA Class 2A baseball semifinals, Windsor pitcher Landry Rustin wanted to put forth as strong a showing as possible in Thursday’s opener of the best-of-three series against Terrell Academy.
Once he drove home a couple of runs in the second inning and had his teammates add two more runs an inning later, Rustin felt he had enough in the way of insurance runs to shut Terrell down. He scattered four hits, striking out seven and walking one en route to a 4-2 victory.
Windsor (20-4) gets two chances to clinch a spot in the Class 2A title series. Game 2 is schedule for a noon start Saturday at Windsor, with Game 3, if needed, to follow.
Three who mattered
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Rustin: The Windsor veteran remained cool on a hot day, not buckling after a leadoff outfield error led to a quick Terrell run. He set Terrell down in order four times, getting out of jams in the fourth and sixth innings with strikeouts.
Stevie Arrington: His two-out double in the third gave Windsor a 3-1 lead. That double was the game’s only extra-base hit.
Jared Donalson: Terrell’s pitcher was strong in defeat, striking out eight while going the distance. Only two of the four runs he allowed were earned.
Andrew Shouse and Matt Scarbury reached on a two-out single and an error, respectively, to sent up Rustin’s two-RBI single up the middle during the second inning that gave Windsor the lead for good.
Two-out rallies: All four of Windsor’s runs came with two outs on the scoreboard.
Race to first: The dropped third strike play appeared often Thursday. Windsor batters faced that situation four times, with the Knights reaching safely twice. Terrell batters had two chances to take first base on a dropped strike three in the late going, but neither attempt paid off.
They said it
Rustin on getting the Game 1 win: “They were 22-0, and we knew it was going to be tough. But we came out here (not) wanting to beat ourselves, and we didn’t do that. We came out here and played ball.”
Rustin on the second-inning single: “I was just trying to help myself out. My teammates will help me out, they’ll get me a lead. Once we get a lead, I pitch with much more confidence.”
Windsor head coach Bill Beatty on going up against unbeaten Terrell: “We knew they were solid defensively. They threw their No. 1 guy against us, and we knew he was going to be good. We just told our guys, ‘We just have to do all the fundamental things.’ We did make an error in the first inning, but our guys through the season, when we did do some things and didn’t do them well, we fight back and do things. We got some key hits in key situations and got a great job on the mound from Landry.
Terrell (22-1) returns to Windsor at noon on Saturday to close out the semifinal series. The winner takes on the Piedmont-Flint River winner in the championship series.