By Richard Polen
GALENA, Kan. — St. Mary’s Colgan allowed just eight hits in two games Thursday against Galena and swept a CNC League baseball doubleheader 4-0 and 8-1.
Jesse Watt faced the minimum number of batters through six innings in the first game and picked off Galena’s only baserunner, who had walked in the fifth inning. He struck out 10.
“Keeping them off-balance was the key with the change-up and breaking pitches,” Watt said. “We have a veteran staff. As our arms get into shape, we’ll be able to pitch longer.”
Nate Arnold, the winning pitcher in the second game, scattered five hits, walked two and struck out five.
Second baseman Aaron Snow pitched the final inning of the first game and the last two innings of the second game as the Panthers improved to 5-0.
“We feel like we have one of the best bullpens around,” Watt said.
Infielder Sam Gilbert, who batted ninth in the Panthers’ lineup, had four hits and scored two runs.
Galena’s only run came in the second inning and tied the score in Game 2 when Tyler Van Cleave walked with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Dillon Katzer’s single to right field.
Colgan regained the lead by scoring twice in the fourth inning on a single and four walks, including two with the bases loaded. The Panthers added a run in the fifth inning on a double by Joe Saia, who later scored on a ground ball.
Colgan’s four-run seventh inning featured back-to-back doubles by Winston Slavens and Snow.
“We knew Galena has a nice team and that if we have any desire to win the league we would have to play well,” Colgan head coach Mike Watt said. “Jesse was really sharp. He was in command out there tonight. Arnold and Snow threw really well. It’s nice to see.”
Tyler Jeck’s solo home run to left center field in the fifth inning of the first game was just the third hit off Galena starting pitcher Troy Albright.
The Panthers scored three runs in the third inning on two walks, a single by Arnold, a two-run single by Watt and a dropped pop-up.
“It could have been a 1-0 game,” Galena head coach Ken Cook said. “We made some silly base-running errors, things we don’t normally do.
“Hopefully, it will be a wake-up call for our kids. They (Colgan) are every bit as good as they usually are. We have a lot to work on to get to where we want to be.”
Leadoff hitter Jacoby Martin of Galena went 2-for-4 in the second game.
By Richard Polen