Chickasha's young pitching rotation was tested Friday afternoon, and it passed.
The Fightin' Chicks extended their record to 3-0 with a 2-0 win against Weatherford. They picked up a run each in the fourth and fifth inning in an otherwise defensive outing. Sophomore Brayden Belden (2-0) took the shutout win, with fellow sophomore Brooks Bush relieving him in the sixth to see out the victory.
"That was just a good baseball game," Gore said. "We had several chances to get runs, especially with our bunt-game, and we didn't get our bunts executed. But, I'm proud of the kids. Our pitchers did a good job, our defense played great, and we got a few timely hits when we needed it."
After a scoreless first three innings, senior Tresjon Davis got things going in the bottom of the fourth with a drop shot to right center. That brought in Jake Womack, who had reached base via a walk. It was one of two shots from Davis on the afternoon, the second a similar hit in the sixth.
After sophomore Brandon Shumway hit a leadoff single into the right corner in the fifth, it was senior Cade Morris who brought him in with a single. Shumway and Davis went 2-for-2 at the plate, while Morris and Ryker Stealman went 2-for-3.
But until Womack crossed home in the fourth, it was a straight up duel between Belden and Weatherford's Grant Schamburg on the mound. The sophomore showed composure as Chickasha left Weatherford with one on in the third just before they took the lead.
"I felt good today," Belden said. "I pitched yesterday in the JV game, got my arm lose. They're big, so I was trying to keep the ball low, not let anything get up high. The one foul ball he took to right field over there — thank God it was foul — it just got away from me."
Schamburg was the culprit on that occasion, and after that little scare Belden got the strikeout in one of four three-up-three-down innings for Chickasha.
Belden's five innings produced four strikeouts, one hit and one walk. Bush then stepped in to finish the job. First he had to deal with Baylor Watkins on third in the sixth, but saw out a ground ball to second for the easy out at first.
Bush walked Jacob Hoffman before Austin Hunt got the only hit he let up to put two on and the winning run up to bat with two outs. Another ground ball, this time to freshman Brock Henderson at third, led to the out at first to end the game.
While the runs weren't flowing quite like they had against Altus on Tuesday, the Fightin' chicks still manage to squeeze out enough for the win. With batting something that Gore said will come around later in the season, close wins like this early could prove valuable.