Someone forgot to tell Druw Bowen that freshmen are supposed to feel pressure.
The Valley right-hander had 14 strikeouts in his first high school start and got help from an offense that hit three home runs in an 11-1 win over Oak Hill Friday at Valley.
Bowen (1-0) struck out the first three batters he faced, getting the side in each of the first three innings. He held the Red Devils to five hits and walked two in the six-inning complete game.
“Not really,” Bowen said about being nervous. “Maybe a little at first but I got over it and just threw strikes.”
Bowen didn’t allow a hit until a controversial ruling to start the third inning. Oak Hill’s Chris Dennler hit a shot to the corner in left field that appeared to hit a telephone pole in foul territory, but the home plate umpire ruled that it bounced off the foul pole for a home run.
After a discussion among the umpires, Valley head coach Joe Craffey and Oak Hill head coach Chad Quesenberry, the homer was taken away but Dennler was given third base.
Haden Crouch’s infield single gave the Devils (0-1) runners at the corners. One out later, Wes Stowers singled to center to drive in Dennler for a 2-1 game.
After a one-out walk loaded the bases, Bowen struck out Chris Hysell and Daniel Pritt to end the inning.
All according to plan, Bowen suggested.
“I just wanted to keep going and throw more strikes and end the inning,” said Bowen, who played catch with shortstop Arik McGinnis while the home run controversy was sorted out.
“He dug deep and was able to keep fighting,” Craffey said.
The Devils never threatened Bowen after that. They did advance a runner to third in the fourth, but the inning ended as five of six ended — a strikeout.
“We had our chances there in the third and just didn’t get the timely hit,” said Quesenberry, whose team has had minimal work outdoors. “Our timing was off. That’s not to take anything away from (Bowen). He pitched a good game.”
The Greyhounds (4-1) backed Bowen with an offense that banged out nine hits — including the three homers and three doubles.
Junior Raeshawn Breckenridge led off the first with a homer to right off Hysell. Joseph Eckert and Cody Winter added two-run blasts as the Greyhounds scored nine runs over the final four innings.
Breckenridge finished 2-for-4 with four runs batted in. He walked with the bases loaded in the sixth to bring in Todd Coleman and end the game via the mercy rule.
McGinnis hit a pair of doubles and Winter was 2-for-4.
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OH: 001 000 — 1 5 3
V: 203 231 — 11 9 0
OH: Chris Hysell, Wes Stowers (3), Tincher (5) and Wes Lokant, V: Druw Bowen and Cody Winter. WP — Bowen. LP — Hysell. Hitting — OH: Stowers 1-3 (RBI), Hysell 1-2, Tincher 1-3, Chris Dennler 1-2 (3B), Haden Crouch 1-2, V: Raeshawn Breckenridge 2-4 (HR, 4 RBI), Arik McGinnis 2-3 (2 2B, RBI), Winter 2-4 (HR, 2B, 2 RBI), Joseph Eckert 1-3 (HR, 2 RBI), John Riddle 1-2.
Records: OH: 0-1; V: 4-1.