Top-Ranked Carlisle Rolls to Easy Win Over Harleton
PRICE -- As if Carlisle needed to send any more messages before the playoffs. The state's No. 1-ranked team in Class A delivered another one Friday night.
Zach Brightwell had a grand slam and six RBIs, Gunner Baker worked five shutout innings and Carlisle rolled to a 12-0 win over Harleton, all but wrapping up the District 20-A championship.
Carlisle (18-0, 11-0), which allowed its first earned runs of the season Tuesday night, now has a two-game lead on Harleton (15-4-1, 9-2) with three games remaining in the regular season.
"Absolutely, this team is playoff ready ... I feel like we are," said Carlisle coach Wesley Colley, who guided the Indians to the state semifinals a season ago. "It's a big win for us ... it kinda sends a message. We're kinda peaking and rolling and everything's good right now."
Brightwell singled in the first, drove in a run with a fielder's choice in the second, slugged a grand slam to right-center in the Indians' seven-run third and knocked in another run with a groundout in the fourth.
"We swung the bats real good, and Zach was no exception," Colley said. "He's leading the team in average for a reason, and we've got some kids that are swinging it with a lot of confidence."
Baker, who authored a 15-strikeout, five-inning perfect game earlier in the season, improved to 9-0 on the year. He allowed four singles, struck out eight and walked two. He has yet to give un earned run in 48 1/3 innings this year.
Harleton had scoring chances early, but stranded four runners through the first two innings and six for the game. The Wildcats also hurt themselves with six errors in the field.
"They did get some runners on, but we kinda responded to that," Colley said. "The pitching kinda shut them down. I knew they had two or three hitters there at the top (of the lineup) who could give us some fits. They got some runners on, but we've got a good defense, our pitching's great, so luckily we were able to hold them there. I've been in that spot too; you can't leave runners on base."
Carlisle built a 3-0 lead after two innings. Clay Allphin's sacrifice fly scored Shadow Sanders in the first. Kolten Heim came home on Sanders' RBI single and Ty Baker scored on Brightwell's fielder's choice in the second.
The Indians broke the game open with seven runs in the third, four riding home on Brightwell's blast. Ben Goss added an RBI single in the inning.
"It's a real impressive win," Colley said. "I'm real pleased with the way we hit the ball. We saw a different pitcher tonight that had a little bit more velocity, which I think is probably to our advantage. The kids are really hitting the ball with a lot of confidence and having quality approaches at the plate."
Carlisle's season resumes Tuesday at Leverett's Chapel, while Harleton faces Beckville at home Tuesday.
District 20-A Baseball
No. 1 Carlisle 12, Harleton 0 (5 innings)
Harleton 000 00 -- 0 4 6
Carlisle 127 2x -- 12 8 1
HAR: Taylor Henson and Clay Hooten. CAR: Gunner Baker and Clay Allphin.
WP -- Baker.
LP -- Henson.
2B -- CAR: Allphin, Shadow Sanders.
HR -- CAR: Zach Brightwell (third inning, three on).