It’s a nice thing when your ace pitcher isn’t completely dialed in and your team finds a way to win anyway.
Such was the case Wednesday afternoon when the Ferris Saxons pulled into first place with Gonzaga Prep by handing the Bullpups their first Greater Spokane League setback.
Ferris took advantage of some poor G-Prep defense as the Saxons held off a late Bullpups rally 7-6 at G-Prep.
Senior left-hander Spencer Ansett (4-0) struck out eight and walked four while allowing eight hits in six innings before being pulled in the top of the seventh.
Saxons coach Jim Sharkey pulled Ansett not because he was struggling, although he allowed a single and a walk to open the seventh. Sharkey lifted Ansett because he had hit 100 pitches on a cold, blustery day.
“He didn’t spot like he usually does,” Sharkey said of Ansett. “I thought we played sound defense behind him. We made a double play here and there and made plays.”
Sharkey brought in freshman lefty Tim Yoshihara. G-Prep ended up scoring five runs and brought the potential winning run to the plate before Yoshihara got a strikeout to end the game.
“They got a couple of seeing-eye base hits and hit a couple hard,” Sharkey said of the Bullpups’ rally. “I was actually pretty pleased. I thought Yosh did a good job throwing. We could have ended it earlier a few times. To get a win with Spencer not at this best is good. He battled for six innings.”
Ansett said he had difficulty with his fastball.
“I couldn’t spot the fastball at all and when you can’t work off your fastball it’s hard to do anything really effective,” Ansett said. “The change-up was decent, but when you’re basing stuff of your change-up it’s not good.”
Ferris (8-1) took a 3-0 lead in the second. Two of the runs scored on errors and Beau Bozett had a run-scoring single.
The Saxons added a run on a sacrifice fly by Ben Goodwin in the fourth and scored two runs in the sixth on an error. Alex Jondal had an RBI single in the seventh.
Austin Trujillo led G-Prep (8-1) with two hits and three RBIs.
“We’re a talented group, but I told them you can’t make mistakes against talented teams,” G-Prep coach Brian Munhall said. “If you don’t take care of the baseball, you’re going to get bit.”
Munhall is pleased with where his team is at halfway through league.
“Last year at this time if we were behind it was game over,” Munhall said. “Now, regardless of the situation, we can compete. It would have been nice if we’d taken the approach in the seventh inning somewhere in the first six and put a few better at-bats together.”
The teams turn around and face off Tuesday at Ferris when play resumes.
Ansett will get the start again.
“Hopefully, we’ll come back Tuesday and I’ll have better stuff,” he said.