GALLATIN - Station Camp sophomore pitcher Ryan Ginther was magical in his shutout victory over rival Hendersonville Tuesday night, pitching seven innings, striking out 10 Commando batters and giving up just two hits in the 4-0 win.
The victory gives Station Camp its 20th win of the season and improves the Bison win streak to 10 games, while also putting them in at least a tie for first place in District 9AAA.
“We are playing team baseball right now,” Bison pitcher Ryan Ginther said. “We started out the season slow, but we’ve really come on lately. We just try to come out every day with the mindset of being 0-0.”
Head coach Korey Heppeard echoed his pitcher’s comments.
“We are playing well,” he said. “We are playing as a team, not getting big at the bats and willing to do what we have to do when we have runners in scoring position. It really helps when our pitching staffs a whole is doing as well as they are right now. I believe our team ERA is under 2.5. We are making plays behind them, but at the same time, we still have work to do.”
The loss drops Hendersonville to 8-3 in league play and in a two-way tie with Station Camp. In the loss, the Commandos committed three key errors and one passed ball that resulted in all four runs for the Bison.
“Tonight, it didn’t matter who we had on the mound,” Hendersonville coach Mike Hendrix said. “If you don’t catch the ball, you’re not going to win. We have to make plays behind our pitcher. We can’t miss pop ups, or forget to cover second on a bunt, but it was good to see Mullins back out there tonight.”
Mullins finished the game tossing four innings, striking out eight batters, giving up zero hits and five walks on 79 pitches.
Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth with Mullins still in the game, Station Camp’s Jalen Wirtz and Brady Harris scored from second and third on a passed ball then a wild throw to third base resulting in Hendrix pulling Mullins and replacing him with sophomore Jordan Zuger.
“When they scored those two runs there was no reason to keep him out there,” Hendrix added of taking Mullins out of the game. “The kid [Ryan Ginther] at Station Camp threw a great game - he is a good pitcher.”
Following a three up, three down strike out from Ginther in the top of the sixth, Station Camp added two more insurance runs in the home half of the inning on a pop up error for the 4-0 lead.
“It makes me feel really good to get a start like this,” Ginther said of the win and getting to face off against Auburn signee Hayden Mullins. “It makes me feel blessed that my teammates and coaches trust me to go out and perform.
“It really helps a lot to get the run support like I did tonight, especially when you are going up against a guy like Mullins.”
Both teams are now focusing on the end of the season and with the district tournament right around the corner, both squads know the importance of playing their best baseball.
“For us, it is all about playing one pitch, one inning and one game at a time,” Heppeard added. “If we can win the district outright and secure an automatic bid to the region tournament then great, but right now we want to host and that means earning of the top two seeds.”