By Gregg A. Sims
Washington was looking for a baseball hero, and found it Friday at the Sports Complex in the arm and bat of Pat Arvin.
Arvin held Big Eight Conference opponent Boonville to five hits and drove home two Washington runners as the Hatchets defeated the Pioneers, 3-0.
The win was warmly greeted by the Hatchets who broke a three-game losing streak as they improved to 8-6 for the season and 2-2 in the conference.
“Pat gave us a shot in the arm,” Washington coach Steve Reed said. “He did it on the mound with a complete game shutout. He was in the rocking chair the whole game.”
Boonville was not able to advance a runner past second base. The Pioneers (3-12, 0-3 Big Eight) had two runners in the opening inning, but leadoff hitter Jesse Forbey was thrown out at third by Washington catcher Justin Harner trying to steal with two outs.
Arvin fanned seven while giving up one walk. Arvin’s breaking pitches kept Boonville off stride.
The performance was good enough that Reed made comparisons to a big league effort.
“He was in, out, up and down,” Reed said. “He popped the fastball. Pat put on, what I thought, was a big league display. A great performance.”
Arvin drove home two of Washington’s three runs, as the Hatchets got single counters in the fourth through sixth innings. Both runners came home following sacrifice bunts from Jarrod Robinson.
“I was glad to see Pat get it done with the bat,” Reed said of the three-hit two RBI day. “I also want to credit Jarrod Robinson. I batted him fourth, and he had two sac bunts. I’m starting to figure out that we have to play that way. We’re not going to light the scoreboard up. Jarrod got those two sac bunts, and Pat drove home runs both times.”
Washington had dropped three straight, beginning with a Big Eight game at Jasper last week. The Hatchets failed to take advantage of opportunities at home against conference foe Mount Carmel, (Ill.) before dropping a decision against Southridge earlier this week.
“We’ve left a lot of runners on base in the past week-and-a-half,” Reed said. “We haven’t been able to get the big hit. We got runners on, over and in. We hadn’t been able to do that. Three runs doesn’t light up the board, but it was enough with the pitching and defense.”
Washington’s defense was solid — the Hatchets made one throwing error — and Arvin took care of the rest.
“This was probably the first game of the year that I didn’t even think about warming anybody up,” Reed said. “I felt that if this game had gone 10 innings, Pat was going to pitch. He was getting the leadoff hitters out. He was getting ahead of the batters.”
Boonville starter Jason Stevens matched Arvin through the first three innings before the Hatchets scored once in each of the following three.
Arvin’s hits drove home runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Harner drove home the other run with a single in the fifth.
Washington got RBI hits in the fourth and fifth with two outs.
Washington travels today to Mount Vernon to continue its conference schedule.