[Nameplate] Fair ~ 27°F  
High: 44°F ~ Low: 30°F
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Holland, Braves slip past Hayti 6-4

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

(Photo)
Scott Central pitcher Nathan Holland delivers a pitch against Hayti Tuesday at Scott Central High School. Chris Pobst, Staff
SIKESTON -- Scott County Central senior Nathan Holland has seen both sides of Braves baseball in just two short years.

Holland is one of three players returning from the Braves' record breaking 11-8 season a year ago in which they won their first district tournament game in recent memory.

This year, the Braves are dealing with an inexperienced lineup that aren't generating the wins Holland got used to last season, but it's not stopping him or the Braves from trudging forward.

"We're a really young team," Holland said. "We've done a lot of work and a lot of the younger guys have potential. We just have to get better. Districts are just around the corner and that's when we want to be playing our best ball."

Holland pitched a complete game Tuesday against the visiting Hayti Indians as Scott Central (3-8) upended the Indians 6-4.

The Braves' ace, who is 3-3 on the mound this year, has been the winning pitcher during each of Scott Central's three wins this season.

He allowed two earned runs on seven hits and struck out a whopping 16.

"We've had to rely on Nate a lot this year," Scott Central head coach Matt Limbaugh. "He wants to win as badly as anyone out here.

"We've had to overcome a lot of obstacles this year so it's good to get a win."

Holland's command of his fastball was key in setting up his curve, which he threw routinely for strikes. Limbaugh, and assistant coach Matt Cline, have preached to their hurler to trust his fastball more often, which Holland hasn't been doing of late.

"Our coaches have been telling me to lay off my curveball because I've been throwing it a lot," said Holland. "I relied on my fastball and it worked in my favor today. I was wanting my curveball to just keep them off balance but my fastball was what I went to."

Although he was faced with two potential game-changing jams, Holland was able to escape unscathed.

With two runners in scoring position in the third inning, Holland was able to end the inning with his eighth strikeout of the game.

During the very next inning, Holland struck out four batters in the inning, because of a dropped third strike, but was able to escape a bases loaded situation without a single run crossing the plate.

By the fifth inning, Holland had struck out 12 batters.

"I just put all of that in the back of my mind, let it go and threw my heart out," Holland said about those two situations. "That's what I was hoping for."

"The big thing for Nate has been when he gets in those situations, how his psyche is," added Limbaugh. "He kept himself head-strong and was able to come through."

Also serving as their leadoff hitter, Holland scored the Braves' first run to begin Scott Central's three-run first. He scored after Tyler Masters, who was standing on first, took off for second prompting a throw from Hayti's catcher. Holland eased home following the throw to second.

"He's been a standstill at the top of our lineup since I've been here," Limbaugh said. "I can't say enough about him and what he's done for us so far this year."

Kaden Traughber knocked in both Steven Minner and Corey Gardiner later in the inning with a single up the middle.

Traughber, who bats seventh, gave the Braves some much needed production from the bottom of the lineup. He went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI while Geoffrey Wood, who bats sixth, added an RBI single in the fourth inning.

"The last part of our lineup hasn't been at it, but they had a really big help for us," Holland said. "I wouldn't trade it."

Masters, who went 3 for 3, drove in Holland in the second inning off an RBI single. The Braves had a total of eight hits.

"When the bottom of the lineup puts the ball in play, we're a lot better team just like any other team," Limbaugh said. "We just have to get consistent at it. If we ever do that, we're going to be in a lot more games down the stretch."

Hayti's Draike Barnett hit a sacrifice fly that scored Hunter Turner in the fifth inning making it 6-2. The Indians put a slight scare into the Braves in the top of the seventh when they plated two, but Holland escaped with the win.

"We just had to come in with a lot of intensity today," Holland said about the win. "We played hard. The main thing we had to do was get our bats rolling and it worked out."

Hayti 001 010 2 -- 4 7 4

SCC 310 200 x -- 6 8 3

WP -- Nathan Holland. LP -- Hunter Turner. 2B -- (SC) Kaden Traughber. 3B -- (H) Alex Brandon. Multiple hitters -- (H) Turner 2-3, Draike Barnett 2-4. (SC) Tyler Masters 3-3, Traughber 2-4.