CLINTON, S.C. – Junior Presbyterian College hurler Tanner Chock threw his second career complete game on Saturday, allowing just one run with a career-high 12 strikeouts to lead PC to the 4-1 victory over Radford to earn the series victory at the PC Baseball Complex. The Blue Hose improve to 14-15 overall and 3-2 in Big South play, while Radford drops to 11-15 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
How It Happened
It was a clear pitcher’s duel from the outset, as both pitchers allowed just one base hit through the first four innings. After giving up a single in the first, Chock retired 11 straight batters through one out in the fifth. On the other side, Radford starter Danny Hrbek faced the minimum through the fourth, despite allowing a single and walk.
Radford was the first to break through, plating its lone run of the game in the fifth inning. Richard De la Cruz drew a two-out walk, before stealing second and advancing to third on a wild throw by the catcher. Clayton Baine then doubled to left center to drive him in and give the Highlanders the 1-0 lead.
PC countered with two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh en route to the victory. Andrew Bladt led off the sixth with an infield single to put a man aboard. Two batters later, Cletis Avery provided the offensive spark that the Blue Hose needed, driving a ball well out of the park in left center for a two-run home run, his second long ball of the season, to give PC a 2-1 lead.
The Blue Hose added to it in the seventh, as TJ Richardson drew a leadoff walk and Tyler Weyenberg followed with a double past the first baseman to put two in scoring position with no outs. After a Radford pitching change, Glen Casaceli jumped on the first pitch and doubled inside the bag at third to score both runners and push the lead to 4-1.
That was all the help that Chock needed to earn his first victory of the season. The righty struck out the side in the eighth, before getting a strikeout, a flyout and a groundout in RU’s final at-bat to retire the seven batters of the game in order.
Pitchers of Record
Tanner Chock (1-4) picked up his first win of the season in the complete game effort, allowing just the one run on six hits with 12 strikeouts against two walks.
Danny Hrbek (2-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Player of the Game
Tanner Chock turned in his best performance of the season with the complete game, one-run performance. It was the second complete game of his career, after tossing his first at Gardner-Webb last season. The 12 punchouts were not only a career-high for Chock, but tied for the most by a PC pitcher this season and third-most in a game in PC’s Division I era history. He threw 118 pitches on the afternoon with 84 going for strikes, while 26 of the 34 batters saw a first-pitch strike.
- Cletis Avery provided the big offensive play of the game, belting a two-run home run to left center to give PC the lead. It was the second homer of the season for Avery, both coming at the PC Baseball Complex.
- Glen Casaceli delivered the other big for PC with the two-run double in the seventh. Casaceli reached base in each of his three plate appearances, going 1-for-1 with the double and two RBIs to go with two walks.
- The middle of the PC order was key, as the 4-5-6-7 hitters combined to go 4-for-8 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs.
- PC earned its first ever series win over Radford since they first met in 2009. Despite being conference foes, it is just the fifth regular season series between the two and the first since 2012.
PC goes for the sweep on Sunday, as the two wrap up the series at 1 p.m. at the PC Baseball Complex.