MANCHESTER — Manchester Valley lost one of the top pitchers in the county when Kyle Scott went down with a hand injury two weeks ago.
Ty Morris decided he had what it takes to fill the void, and the junior showed what he can do Wednesday when the Mavericks hosted Winters Mill. Morris pitched into the seventh inning and worked quickly, giving the Mavs plenty of support in their 4-0 victory that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Morris struck out eight batters over 6 1/3 innings before fellow junior Jack Metz worked out of a jam in the seventh to earn a save and preserve the win. Morris, a tall right-hander, improved to 3-0 on the spring and lowered his ERA to 1.83.
Scott sustained his injury when Man Valley (9-7, 6-6 Carroll County Athletic League) played Liberty on April 17, and was 2-1 with a 0.51 ERA and 21 strikeouts to that point. The Mavericks used a steady rotation of pitchers, but Morris felt his time was now.
“I mean, I’m ready for the job,” Morris said. “I’ll step up to the plate and go pitch.”
Morris’ teammates made the most of their opportunities at the plate and broke through in the fourth inning against Winters Mill sophomore Slater Seitz, who pitched well in defeat. Adam Bowersox and Adam Hickey, MV’s 8-9 hitters, delivered back-to-back RBIs in the fourth inning to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
Garrett Vonella’s sac bunt put runners on second and third with one out before Hickey followed Bowersox’s run-scoring groundout with an RBI single to left.
Tommy Murray drove in a run in the fifth on a double to left field, and Vonella scored on a wild pitch in the sixth for another insurance run. Metz had two hits and reached base three times.
“We’re always trusting our teammates,” Murray said. “And when Ty comes out here and throws a performance like he did today, it builds right on top of what we’re trying to do.”
The Falcons (4-12, 3-8) had their chances against Morris. They stranded nine baserunners, and had first and second with no outs in the fifth and six innings only to come up empty each time. Morris left the bases loaded in the fifth, and struck out the final two batters he faced in the sixth.
He left with one out in the seventh and runners on first and second, but Metz posted strikeouts for the final two outs of the game.
Conner Peters had two hits for Winters Mill, which started 1-8 but was 3-3 in its last six games before Wednesday. Falcons coach Erik Barnes said his team has shown improvement in recent weeks, but still has things on which to work as the regional playoffs approach.
“We’re definitely playing better,” said Barnes, who had four sophomores in his lineup during the game. “There’s a lot of youth on the field. But we are making some progress.”