For The Tribune
Cody Williams helped carry the Brownstown Braves baseball team Tuesday evening in a 10-0 win against Southwestern (Hanover).
Williams pitched a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts and five hits against the Rebels.
Braves coach John Lawson said he has come to anticipate that experience on the mound will go a long way.
“That’s just what you expect, he’s a senior,” he said. “He was confident.”
Williams worked out of a late jam where he loaded the bases in the sixth inning with a 6-0 lead.
Williams recorded the first out, but then hit Southwestern’s second baseman Arie Mitchell with a pitch, allowed a single and a shaky defensive play by the Braves allowed the Rebels’ Robbie Stone on base.
That’s when Lawson left the dugout for the mound and told Williams to regain focus.
“I just told him to do what he had been doing and not to be afraid to challenge them,” Lawson said.
Williams then struck out shortstop Tryston Wheatley and recorded a putout to first on a comebacker from Nate Lichlyter.
The Braves offense got to a slow start, but became increasingly productive in the second half of the game.
Lawson said that part of the Braves’ slow start was because of it being early in the season and facing a left-hander in the Rebels’ Conner Stewart.
“If you have a left-handed pitcher in high school, it’s a premium,” Lawson said. “You can also attribute it to the early part of the season. Early, pitching is usually ahead of hitting until guys get their timing and get their feel and it’s something we’re still working on.”
Stewart, who gave up three runs over four innings, was also efficient over the first three innings, only using 32 pitches through the third.
Lawson said he thought Stewart had great command.
“I thought he was very good and threw for strikes,” he said. “He kept us off balance.”
Once the Braves settled in, they were able to keep the pressure on the Rebels.
The first two runs came in the fourth inning when the Braves were able to score on two walks with the bases loaded.
The big inning that opened the game up was the fifth when the Braves were able to score another four runs on a double from Ty Maxie, a two-run double from Nick Marling and single from Williams.
Lawson said at that point pitchers for the Rebels were leaving the ball high in the strike zone and his team was able to take advantage.
The Braves were able to end the game in the bottom of the sixth with another four runs.
Senior Carson Lambring had a leadoff single and stole second. Another double from Maxie sent Lambring in to bring the score to 7-0. Marling doubled Maxie in. Senior Sy Zickler doubled Marling in and junior Ian Martin batted Zickler in to end the game.
“It was a great ball game, well played by both teams with good pitching,” Lawson said. “I’m really happy with the pitching.”
The Braves (2-0) will face a Mid-Southern Conference opponent for the first time this season when they host North Harrison.