TOWNSHEND >> On the same day that kids were asked to spell things like "reseau" and "esquisse" during the Scripps final round on ESPN, there was really only one word to describe a freshman's pitching performance at Leland & Gray Union High School.
It was awesome.
Casper Rowe fanned five and walked just two as the host Rebels defeated Twin Valley, 5-2, in Thursday's varsity baseball game that had been suspended due to rain on May 13.
"The kid is consistent," said Leland & Gray skipper Eric Durocher. "He changes speed and he changes eye level. And he's only a freshman."
The score was tied 1-1 and Owen Beattie of the Rebels was on second base with one out in the bottom of two when the game resumed. After Beattie swiped third, Bryce Karg grounded out to the right side to put the hosts ahead.
Leland & Gray later increased its lead to 4-1 with a two-run third. Joel Emmons started it with a single up the gut, before Rowe helped himself with an RBI groundout and Jeremy Bovat connected for a run-scoring single to left.
Rowe, who cruised through the third and fourth frames, gave up consecutive singles to Justin Hicks and Baylee Crawford to begin the fifth. After Hicks stole third, Joey Rafus flew out to center for what appeared to be a ho-hum sacrifice fly. But Bovat (CF) wowed the crowd by firing a strike to Beattie (C) in time, however the catcher was unable to hang onto the ball when making the tag.
"Many a team in our league have challenged Bovat and not been successful," noted coach Durocher, who then watched his rookie hurler pitch his way out of any further trouble.
The home team capped the scoring with a single run in the sixth. Following one-out singles from Walker Hamer, Emmons and Patrick McDonald, Rowe delivered with an RBI groundout.
Emmons finished with two hits and Rowe drove in a couple of runs to lead the 12-2 Rebels, who honored seniors Nick Morrow, Max Cramp, Bovat and Beattie prior to the continuation on Thursday. Brett Swanson and Crawford both ended up with a a pair of hits for the Wildcats.
Twin Valley lineup: Justin Hicks SS, Baylee Crawford 2B, Joey Rafus 1B, Brett Swanson CF, Kyle Murdock P, Hayden Reed RF, Chris Robinson C, Travis Betit 3B, Ethan Fox LF.
Leland & Gray lineup: Patrick McDonald SS, Casper Rowe P, Jeremy Bovat CF, Nick Morrow 1B, Max Cramp 3B, OWen Beattie C, Bryce Karg LF, Walker Hamer DH, Joel Emmons RF.