Steers win second practice game 6-1 against Clyde
After two warm-up games, it’s full steam ahead to the playoffs for the Steers. Graham defeated Clyde on Monday night at home 6-1.
Graham had a sufficient amount of offense against Clyde. The Steers also trotted out five different pitchers to the mound. All five pitchers were able to put in some quality innings. The team only gave up three total hits in the game. The win keeps the momentum rolling for the Steers.
“It gives us a little momentum. We had a lot of positive things. We have a few things that we see we need to continue to work on and get better at,” Steers head coach Jim Bob Williams said. “We felt real good today about our performances on the mound. We ran five different kids out there and every one of them threw strikes. That’s what we were looking for is guys to throw strikes and to let the defense play behind them. Like we have been talking about the defense has been doing a good job and we want to keep letting them put the ball in play and make them hit our pitches and play defense behind them.”
Graham’s five pitchers that logged innings on Monday were very successful as a unit. Smith pitched two innings. He allowed no hits and recorded a strikeout. Jacob Jones pitched two innings. He allowed an earned run and struck out one batter. Brockway, Danny Key and Stone pitched an inning a piece. Brockway had a strikeout. Key worked quickly and efficiently and Stone struck out two in the seventh.
Smith not only pitched well, but had a tremendous day at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with four RBIs against Clyde. He also scored two runs.
Tucker Horn went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Several other Steers batters were strong at the plate and scored. Graham managed to draw five walks against the Clyde pitching staff and were successful in finding clutch ways to get on base.
The Steers are scheduled to open the playoffs at Iowa Park on Friday. Iowa Park is ranked No. 13 in the state in one poll and is a strong opponent offensively.
“They a do good job at the plate. They are tough to strike out,” Williams said. “We are not going to be focusing on striking them out. We are going to be trying to get them to hit our pitches early in the count and get balls we can handle. We don’t want to get behind them. If we get behind them then they can sit on the pitch and they are good hitters. So, we want to try to get them out early in the count, and make them hit our pitches and play defense.”
Iowa Park will pose a heavy threat on the mound, as well.
“They’ve got two kids that both throw in the low 80s. They also have good off speed stuff and are real good pitchers,” Williams said. “The third kid that they have is a kid that we have seen. He doesn’t throw as hard, but he is more of a curveball, change-up type of pitcher. He uses his off-speed a lot. They’ve got several good pitchers. They are going to have quality kids. We just have to have good at-bats and like today (Monday) when we get the guys on base we have to have somebody step up and get the hit like Connor (Smith) did today.”
Graham will be put to test on Friday in Iowa Park. Coverage from the weekend’s series against the Hawks will be available online and in Wednesday’s edition of The Graham Leader.
Read the entire story in Saturday's edition of The Graham Leader.