CARY – A warning to all those facing Cary-Grove’s Larkin Hanselmann this season: No leadoff at first base is safe.
The Trojans’ lefty picked off three base runners and was almost unhittable Friday as C-G picked up a 6-1 nonconference victory over Boylan.
“I saw them leading off first base kind of far a few times and thought about stepping off the mound but instead used my pickoff move,” Hanselmann said. “I’ve been working on my move quite a bit in practice and it worked today.”
On a cold and windy day better suited for ice fishing, Hanselmann took advantage of ideal pitching conditions and threw a complete-game gem. The Trojans (4-3) junior allowed just one run on four hits while striking out eight.
“My change-up and curveball were my best pitches today, and that is what helped me late in the game,” Hanselmann said. “I basically was trying to pitch to contact because I knew my defense would have my back, and today they did.”
Boylan (2-2) started the scoring in the first inning. After a two-out single and wild pitch, Joe Fehrle had an RBI single to put the Titans up 1-0.
C-G answered in the bottom half of the first inning. Dean Christakes started things off for the Trojans with a single and stole second and third before scoring on an RBI groundout. Later in the inning, Rob Johnson put C-G up 2-1 with a two-out RBI single.
Boylan starter Martin Arteaga settled in after a rocky first inning and retired the final 10 batters he faced. Arteaga was the tough-luck losing pitcher, going four innings and allowing two runs on three hits.
The Trojans broke the game open in the fifth inning with two-out RBIs by Matt Sutherland and Willie Hartke.
C-G coach Don Sutherland felt his Trojans played their best game of the season Friday in their win over Boylan.
“I really feel we executed very well in some really tough weather conditions,” Sutherland said. “I wasn’t happy we gave up that run in the first inning because, when it’s this cold, I didn’t want the team getting down and then thinking about how cold it is.
“We were able to rebound nicely after that first inning and had great pitching, some clutch two-out hitting, good defense, and good base running. A great win against a good team.”
C-G was led by Dean Christakes, who was 2 for 3 with two runs scored and three stolen bases.