A full workload wasn’t quite enough work for Windsor senior Garrett Hammond.
Hammond’s work through five innings of a 9-5 Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference baseball win Tuesday against Roosevelt would have been enough to satisfy most pitchers.
Hammond, on the other hand, politely asked his coach “may I have another?”
“We want (Hammond) to get better as the game goes on, and I thought he did,” Wizards coach Brad Deal said. “I was ready to take him out in the fifth and he talked me out of it. And, I said ‘All right, I’ll put my trust in you.’ ”
After a scoreless first two innings, unbeaten Windsor (3-0 Tri-Valley, 6-0 overall) assumed control against the winless Rough Riders (0-2, 0-4) with a pair of runs in the third and three more in the fourth to go up 5-1.
With a four-run cushion in Hammond’s hip pocket, Deal was planning on relieving Hammond — who threw 99 pitches in four innings — until Hammond put the kibosh on that, to throw 10 more pitches during a scoreless top of the sixth for Roosevelt.
Windsor infielders Stephen Wheeler, Patrick Fisher and David Watson spared Hammond any further work on the mound when they converted a nifty double play to get out of the sixth.
The Wizards’ defense backed up Hammond (2-0) all game, limiting the damage of 11 Roosevelt hits, while leaving 10 Rough Rider runners on base — twice leaving bases loaded.
“I give credit to my teammates,” Hammond said. “They came out, made some great plays out on the field, which gave me motivation and gave me that extra boost to keep pitching. ... That gives me all the confidence in the world.”
While Roosevelt’s eight errors — resulting in six unearned runs — certainly didn’t help its cause, Rough Riders coach Alan Gibson lamented his offense’s inability to drive in runs during critical situations.
Roosevelt hit 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position through the first six innings before going 4 for 7 during a four-run seventh, putting a brief scare in Windsor after the Wizards went up 9-1.
“The root of our problems is in our offense right now,” Gibson said. “We have a lot of chances to do some things early to take some of the pressure off of our pitcher and off of our defense, and when you don’t do that, then that makes all those errors and all those free passes that much more glaring and that much tougher to overcome.”
While clutch hits eluded the Rough Riders, Windsor junior Dustin Starck’s timing was impeccable as he helped his team create all the breathing room it needed to withstand Roosevelt’s late rally.
Moments after Watson singled in a run and then scored on an error, Starck extended the Wizards’ lead to 9-1 on a 2-RBI double after back-to-back Roosevelt errors.
Starck hardly resembled your run-of-the-mill seven-hole batter, hitting 2 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.
“We executed better than we have in previous games, like scoring runners from third and moving runners up,” Starck said. “That was a big difference.”
RHS 000 100 4 — 5 11 8
WHS 002 304 X — 9 8 1
RHS — Austin Trujillo (L, 0-2, 5H, 2ER, 1BB, 3SO), Logan Dingwall (4th, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO), Desmond Hamby (6th, 2H, 1ER, 1BB, 0SO), James Rodriguez (6th, 0H, 0ER, 1BB, 0SO) and Joe Thonrock. 3B – Chris Gomez; RBI – Ethan Zwaagstra 2, Austin Olson, Jason Ramirez, Bryson Wells.
WHS — Garrett Hammond (W, 2-0, 6H, 1ER, 3BB, 6SO), Corte Tapia (7th, 5H, 4ER, 1BB, 1SO) and Greg Medina. 2B – Dustin Starck 2; RBI – Starck 2, David Watson 2.