Right-handed pitcher Greg Strickland continues to roll for the Millbrook Baseball team. Half of the Wildcats’ wins this season have come with the junior on the bump, and after tossing a career-best one-hit shutout on Tuesday afternoon, Millbrook sits at 2-1 in the Cap-8 Conference.
Strickland pounded out the game's only run through first six innings in the top of the first, then proceeded to take the mound and throw seven innings of shutout baseball, striking out seven, and allowing no hits to the final 22 batters that he faced.
Three of Millbrook’s nine hits on the afternoon started off the ballgame. Tyler Snead, and Cal Teachey registered singles before Strickland plated Snead on an RBI single to left. Dennis Delgado was the offensive standout as he also pitched in with three of the nine Wildcat base hits.
Wakefield’s only hit came with one out in the bottom of the first inning. The Wolverines’ second batter of the game, Jake Norris poked a single to the outfield only to be retired on a fielder’s choice.
Innings two through four would be smooth sailing for both clubs as Strickland posted 1-2-3 frames in each. Wakefield also had a complete game pitching performance as August Ismay went the distance and allowed only two runs on nine hits.
The Wolverines’ had its best chance to take the lead in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Strickland walked both Zach Michael, and Kyler Kristiansen to start the frame. After a mound visit from Coach James, Brett Thompson was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.
Strickland pulled off his best Houdini act with Jake Dacunto at the plate. Wakefield’s third baseman slapped a ball to Will Hood at third who threw home to Delgado, then watched the Wildcat catcher fire to first for the 5-2-3 rally-killing double play. Strickland proceeded to fan Jake Gibson to escape the inning unscathed.
Millbrook tacked on insurance in the seventh when Delgado’s third hit in as many tries went for a double to centerfield. Hood advanced his courtesy runner, Matt Rouse to third, then Tyler Snead beat out a two-out infield single to score Rouse and give the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage.
Two runs would be all that Millbrook needed as Strickland dispatched of the Wolverines in order in the seventh, striking out his career-high seventh batter of the game for the second out of the inning. Strickland recorded eight strikeouts in his first start of the season vs. DH Conley but the game has yet to be finalized due to weather.
Counting the DH Conley outing, Strickland is now 2-1 on the season in four starts. He has struck out 24 batters, and pitched to the tune of a 2.26 ERA.
Millbrook returns to action on Wednesday afternoon at home against Athens Drive High School. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 PM as the Wildcats look to jump over the .500 mark with its fifth win of the season, and third in a row.