By KEVIN THOMPSON
ULYSSES — If you're the coach for the Scott City Beavers baseball team, then you're just hoping your young players can hang in the game, learn from experience, and maybe win a few more games than you're used to.
If you have Ron Baker pitching for you and his stuff is pretty good, you're going to feel a lot better about your chances.
At least it's how Scott City coach Neil Baker felt after his pitcher hurled a gem Friday night in Ulysses, one-hitting the Tigers and facing just one over the minimum in the lineup in a 6-0 win.
And just for good measure, take Stevie Fyler's two-hitter in the nightcap in Scott City's 9-1 win.
Baker struck out nine Tigers, walked just one and allowed only a single in the first inning off catcher Corey Ungles. After a leadoff walk in the second inning, he retired the 18 straight batters, including striking out the side in the fifth inning.
"I was on," Baker said. "My arm was feeling good, I was throwing hard, and I was feeling warm."
A combination of fastballs and sliders kept the Tiger batters at bay. That left enough time for the Beaver offense to attack.
Scott City scored in the second inning after Fyler walked, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk.
The Beavers scored once in both the third and fifth innings. In the sixth, Brett O'Neil hit a double to centerfield to score Luis Aguilera. O'Neil scored on an error off a Baker hit, Baker stole second, and Matt Zilla drove him in with a single to right.
On the defensive side, Baker stymied Tiger hitters, getting them on easy groundouts and pop flies. Coach Baker credited freshman Drew Kite with the assist behind the plate and his team's defense behind his pitcher.
"Drew did a great job locating pitches and our defense made routine plays," he said. "And Ron had a good day. We had a lot of key hits when we needed to and took advantage of their mistakes."
One of coach Baker's concerns was the number of runners his team stranded. They left bases loaded in the third inning and got only one run with full bags again in the fifth.
"You can't do that against good ball teams," he said. "You've got to come up there and do your job at the plate no matter if you're the number-one hitter or the number-eight hitter."
In Game 2, Fyler faced just 26 hitters, striking out three, walking one and surrendering only two chop hits in going the distance for his win.
The Beavers failed to score again with bases loaded, this time in the first inning.
Then the Beavers batted around in the third inning. Jeremy Clinton's single drove in O'Neil. A throwing error to first on a passed ball third strike allowed Baker to score. Then Chris Sourk walked to load the bases.
This time Scott City capitalized on the full bags as Aguilera drove a 2-1 pitch into center field for a double and cleared the bases for the 5-0 lead.
The Beavers batted around again in the sixth. Baker hit a double to deep centerfield to score O'Neil. Fyler drove him in with a single to right. He scored on an error. And the Tigers could not recover.
For Tigers coach Michael Ibarra, his pitching numbers were a mixture of good and bad.
Sophomore Braden Langston struck out 10, but he also gave up seven walks and hit three batters in his five innings of work.
In the first game, junior Andy Simpson had six strikeouts for the Tigers, but he also gave up six walks and was called for two balks.
"Our pitchers struggled a little bit. We were getting some runners on that shouldn't be as far as walks," Ibarra said. "We're young in pitching, but they did a decent job a times."
Ulysses' three hits on the night were a sign of the lapses his team has faced at times this season.
"We were struggling today hitting. We couldn't get our bats going," Ibarra said. "As far as the play, I wasn't too disappointed in that. But we just couldn't turn the bats today."
For coach Baker, things went well for his young team.
"They're learning the little things that are helping us win games. And they're still enjoying playing the game, and that's helping us a bunch," he said.
Scott City 6, Ulysses 0
Scott City 011 013 0 -- 6 4 0
Ulysses 000 000 0 -- 0 1 2
Baker and Kite.; Simpson, Haney (6) and Ungles. W - Baker. L - Simpson.
2B - SC, O'Neil.
Scott City 9, Ulysses 1
Scott City (9-5) 005 004 0 -- 9 8 1
Ulysses (7-11) 000 010 0 -- 1 2 3
Fyler and Zilla; B. Langston, Chavez (6) and Ungles. W - Fyler. L - Langston.
2B - SC, Baker.