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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

Bennett's arm leads Squirrels past Jackson

Friday, June 22, 2012

(Photo)
Charleston first baseman Tim Hillis prepares to collect a throw against Jackson on Thursday at Hillhouse Park in Charleston. The Squirrels won the first game of their doubleheader 3-0. Brent Shipman, Staff
CHARLESTON -- Holding Jackson Senior Babe Ruth to only two hits in a complete game effort on Thursday, Charleston starter Trevor Bennett allowed the Fighting Squirrels to maintain an early lead for a 3-0 win.

"That's two good pitching performances in a row," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "I thought lefty was on top of his game. He just throws it in there, his ball moves and he's tough to hit. He's been solid on the mound and that's another solid outing.

"I think out of his six starts he's only given up five or six runs and he's thrown three or four shutouts. He's beaten good teams and just makes guys look bad at the plate. That's a tribute to him, he's doing a great job."

Besides a pair of hits, Bennett allowed two walks and had a no-hit bid going through 4 2/3 innings. It wasn't until Josh Douglas lined a single to left field with two outs in the fifth that Jackson got their first hit of the night.

Forcing Jackson to strand a total of six base runners, two coming off of Squirrel errors, Bennett didn't allow a runner to reach third.

"When you're only scoring two or three runs a game and only getting four or five hits yourself, you need that," Minner said. (Bennett) is keeping them off there."

Collecting fours hits of their own on the game to go along with seven walks issued by Jackson, Charleston (16-18) did all of their damage with a three-run second inning rally.

After Jackson retired the first two batters of the second, free passes to Tim Hillis and Trey Watkins brought Hunter Norden to the plate. Norden lined a shot to shallow center field to plate the go-ahead run while leaving runners at second and third.

Paul Fox drew a bases-loaded walk to force in another run.

Charleston's final run came as some confusion on the base paths allowed courtesy runner Ryan Moses to steal home plate.

"We get three runs and it's because of their inability to throw strikes," Minner said. "Once again that's a situation where we're up there and we took some pitches in some counts where we haven't been taking them. We're we've been getting ourselves out (lately) and we don't score.

"All of the sudden we took some pitches, made him throw us strikes and got some people in position to score. Then we were successful offensively."

Through the next four innings, the Squirrels put runners on with a chance to add to their lead. Each time, however, they came up empty-handed stranding six base runners in the process.

Besides driving in what turned out to be the game-winning run, Norden led Charleston going 2 for 2 at the plate. He was also hit by a pitch to successfully reach in all three plate appearances.

"Hoss is starting to swing the bat better," Minner said of Norden. "He's been here early and has been working his tail off. He's been struggling at the plate and he's a kid that wants to be successful so he's been here and has been getting some good hacks in the cage.

"He had two hits tonight and two hits last night against Sikeston. His swing is getting there and he's getting better. We want a kid like him on the bases because he leads the team in stolen bases and runs."

Rounding out the Squirrels offensive performance was Jacob Wilson and Ethan Browning with adding a single to Charleston's cause.

For Jackson, Douglas and Trent Steffens had a hit each.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Jackson gained some vengeance defeating the Squirrels 10-6.

Jackson 000 000 0 - 0 2 1

Charleston 030 000 x - 3 4 2

WP -- Trevor Bennett. LP -- Chris Hartle. Multiple hitters: (C) Hunter Norden 2-2.