Baseball Flyers prevail over Tigers

Stellar pitching effort by Kelsch propels Lindbergh to 5-0 win

By Robert Chalupny

An overall team effort and a stellar pitching performance from Ben Kelsch led the Lindbergh High School varsity baseball team to a victory earlier this week over one of its closest rivals, the Oakville Tigers.

Kelsch gave up just two hits and struck out six batters in his third complete-game shutout this season, as the Flyers blanked Oakville 5-0 Tuesday night.

Lindbergh head coach Darin Scott told the Call that without a doubt the pitching was a factor in the victory. He added that the team’s offensive strategy is paying dividends.

“I am very proud of our guys for playing a complete game today,” he said. “When you pitch that well and play error-free baseball, you usually can win.

“We ran the bases very well and had a few manufactured runs that made the difference. Ben was outstanding today and it was a great to get the win against a very good Oakville team for conference and district play.”

After falling to Webster Wednesday, the Flyers are 17-9 overall on the season and 6-2 in district play, with just a handful of games left in the regular season. They are poised to finish strong heading into the playoffs.

Lindbergh’s schedule is advantageous for the club. The Flyers faced their toughest opponents in the latter part of the season, leaving them in peak condition by the time playoffs start.

The same was true last year, as the Flyers started their season 11-4 and finished the year 12-16 because of the shift in schedule strength. But they clearly have fared better through the same scenario this year.

Scott said he is optimistic about this group’s potential to accomplish more, citing pitching and a smart offensive attack as the primary factors.

“I really just think that they go out and they play the game the right way,” he said about his players’ success. “We move base runners along. They are very unselfish with their bats, and we just have a lot of versatility on offense that has really allowed us to score a lot more runs this year.”

Although the the pitching has been great, sometimes the grueling schedule wears his pitchers down down and they can’t be perfect every night, Scott said. So the team’s ability to score more runs is crucial in helping the Flyers come out with a win during some of the tough games.

As the Flyers get ready for the postseason, pitching has been a focal point of discussion in recent days, according to Scott, and it holds the key to success.

“The main thing that we’ve been talking about a lot lately is throwing strikes, getting ahead in the count and making sure that we are not giving away free bases,” he said. “We’ve got to shore up a couple of things on defense … Our pitchers have to attack the zone a little more and avoid leadoff walks and avoid two-out walks.”