ELDON — Whatever quality stats the Twin Cedars High School baseball team had this season, Cardinal pitcher Jentry Arbogast made them all moot.
Arbogast struck out 11 and tossed a two-hit shutout to help the Comets to a 10-0, five-inning win over the Sabers Wednesday at Cardinal High School.
He struck out seven in a row from the first through third innings, then ended his night with four straight strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Comets’ offense pieced together big second and third innings to take some of the pressure off.
“I really didn’t know how many guys in a row I struck out. I just went out there and threw and kept my pitch count down,” Arbogast said. “But the defense gave me a boost tonight. I knew if I threw strikes, they could hit hit and the defense would make plays.”
The defense certainly was a factor, as left fielder Griffin Greiner made a tough catch in the gap running away from the field in the first inning, then Colby Aschenbrenner threw out Kade Dunkin at the plate on a fielder’s choice in the fourth to keep the shutout intact.
“Our defense has done a good job as a whole this year. Those are big plays, especially with the postseason coming up,” Cardinal coach Rick Scott said. “I really liked the effort. If they don’t try to make a play, they won’t.”
Arbogast did the rest. He allowed just hard single in the third, then a bloop hit in the fourth.
“Jentry and I talked before the game about going out there and throwing strikes,” Scott said. “Twin Cedars bats about .300 and they have a lot of stolen bases this year, so it wasn’t a game we could come out flat. This was probably his best outing of the season.”
The Comets scored twice in the second on an RBI single by Ryan Clark and RBI hit-by-pitch to Landon Becker. In the third, Braden Ridgway drove in a run, and the Sabers’ sloppiness in the field led to two other runs.
Cameron Honomichl singled in a run in the fourth, then the Comets ended the game on Aschenbrenner’s two-run double in the fifth.
“It’s easy to tell guys to be aggressive early in the count against slower pitching, because it’s harder to hit slower pitching,” Scott said. “By the end of the game, we were swinging the bats pretty well.”
Arbogast used three pitches — fastball, change-up and slider — to overwhelm the Sabers. He set the hitters up with the fastball then finished them with the offspeed pitches.
“I was able to get my waste pitches in tonight,” he said. “It took two or three innings to get settled in. This was probably one of my better outings, but the defense and offense did their job as well.”
“Jentry did what we asked him to do,” Scott said. “One thing I thought he did really well was if the got behind in the count, he came back and threw strikes. That tells me he was really concentrating on throwing strikes. He commanded three pitches tonight.”
The Comets visit Danville today in a SEI Superconference South Division contest.
Chad Drury can be reached at email@example.com, and on Twitter @ChadDrury