BY JIMMY HARRIS
---- — WESTVILLE — With a combined Vermilion Valley Conference record of 15-1, the Westville Tigers played host to the Salt Fork Storm.
The Storm received a good pitching performance from Ross Learnard, who struck out seven and allowed four hits as the Storm beat the Tigers 10-1.
Learnard was mixing his pitches well and hitting spots to keep a good hitting team off balance.
“Ross Learnard did an nice job today and the offensive output was good,” said Salt Fork Coach Gary Hansgen.
Westville had some chances early in the game, but made some base running errors that could have cost them some runs.
The Storm capitalized on the mistakes by the Tigers and pushed runs across in the third and fourth innings to take a 7-0 lead.
“When we play a good team like Salt Fork, we need to limit our errors and play a good game offensively and defensively and we didn’t do that today,” Westville coach Joe Brazas said.
The Storm broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning with four runs on three hits and three errors. Cole Taylor, Noah Darr, Colton Baird and Cole Sanford all had big RBI’s for the Storm throughout the game.
“We have been playing pretty well the last three weeks and it continued today with big hits when we needed them with runners in scoring position,” Hansgen said.
The Tigers wouldn’t quit and tried to get some runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning but could only manufacture one run with a double by Tristan Flynn to score Jeffery Thompson as Learnard struck out the next two batters to end the threat and inning.
“I feel our team did an excellent job defensively and when we score 10 runs when you’re on the mound, it makes pitching a lot better,” Learnard said.
Salt Fork is now 15-2 (10-0 in the VVC) and plays at Oakwood today while Westville falls to 11-7 (6-2) and plays at Armstrong-Potomac today.