BISMARCK — After a perfect game from Ross Learnard on Tuesday, the Salt Fork baseball team received another outstanding pitching performance on Friday from Cole Taylor, who struck out nine and allowed only one hit over five innings as the Storm beat Bismarck-Henning 15-0.
Taylor had command of all his pictures and was hitting his spots as the Blue Devils struggled to touch it.
“My curveball was working today for strikes and that was a key and my defense did a good job behind me,” Taylor said.
With the Storm’s offense clicking and the Blue Devil defense struggling, it took some pressure off Taylor and allowed him to stay calm and just pitch.
“Cole (Taylor) did an outstanding job today and the offensive output was good,” Salt Fork coach Gary Hansgen said.
The Storm broke the game open in the top of the fifth inning with 11 runs on six hits and seven errors. Ross Learnard, Max Stutsman, Cole Taylor, Colten Baird and Brody Marsh all had big RBI’s for the Storm throughout the game.
“Our bats have been pretty good the last two weeks and it continued today and we got the big hits when we needed them with runners in scoring position,” Hansgen said.
Taylor had six straight strikeouts through the third and fourth innings. Going into the fifth inning, he had faced the minimum amount of batters but the Blue Devils catcher Mikey Feeney broke up the no-hitter bid with a sharp hit single to right field.
Taylor then retired the next three batters to get the complete game one-hit shutout, and combined with Learnard’s perfect game, Salt Fork pitching has only given up one hit all week.
The Blue Devils had a nice outing from their starting pitcher Dustyn Ingram who only allowed four runs in four innings of work as he struck out seven.
“We have got to clean up our mistakes behind our pitchers but today we were outmatched by Cole Taylor,” Bismarck-Henning coach Mark Dodd said.
Salt Fork is now 9-2 and 6-0 in the Vermilion Valley Conference and play Hoopeston Area on Monday. Bismarck-Henning falls to 3-7 (2-2) and plays Armstrong-Potomac today.