Huskies fall to Bellaire

BELLAIRE – Head coach John Patrone was well aware that his son Nick’s pitch count was getting up there.

However, the Big Reds’ skipper also trusts his son and knows the kind of off-season training program he underwent to prepare himself to log a lot of innings this spring.

It all paid off for the Big Reds at sun-splashed Chase Field Monday afternoon.

Nick Patrone threw a complete-game, fanning 16 and allowing just two base hits, despite needing 125 pitches to do so as the Big Reds (1-1) posted a 5-1 win against Harrison Central (1-1).

“That’s a lot of pitches, but he’s thrown like that his entire career,” John Patrone said. “He started throwing in December. I didn’t want to go quite as high as he did, but he was in the groove and he assured me he felt fine, so I let him go.”

Nick Patrone continually had the Huskies’ hitters guessing as he mixed a blazing fastball with a wide array off-speed pitches.

“(Patrone) got ahead of hitters, threw a lot of strikes and kept us off balance all day,” said first-year Harrison Central head coach Mike Valesko. “When you strike out as often as we did, it’s tough to get anything going. We like to run, move guys around the bases and bunt, but he just had us off balance and we couldn’t get anything going.”

Patrone, who did issue six walks, recorded strikeouts for the first eight Huskies’ outs of the contest.

Junior slugger Tyler Ramsay took a Dustin Redish offering well over the left-field fence for the game’s first run to lead off the second.

The Huskies got to Nick Patrone a bit in the fifth. Ninth-hitter Austyn Porter laced a single into left. He stole second before Dalton Rutter walked.

After Patrone recorded a strikeout for the second out, Redish helped his own cause with a hard-hit single into right, scoring Porter.

The Huskies eventually loaded the bases before Patrone escaped the jam with yet another strikeout.

“We got back into it, but it felt like we were always playing catch-up,” Valesko said.

Bellaire 5, Harrison Central 1

Harrison Central 000 010 0 – 1 2 0

Bellaire 010 040 x – 5 7 0

BELLAIRE: Patrone (WP, 16K, 6W) and Back; Ramsay HR, RBI; West, D; Westlake, D, RBI; Ross, S, 2RBI; Snell S, RBI.

HARRISON CENTRAL: Redish (5K, 1BB), Arbogast (LP, 5, 2K, 1W) and Staten; Redish S, RBI.