Gladstone came into Friday's game with Estacada as one of the best offensive teams in the Tri-Valley Conference. But even they couldn't figure out Andy Avants at the plate.
Estacada's senior pitcher threw a complete game while giving up just two hits and no earned runs as the Rangers defeated Gladstone 4-2 on Friday afternoon.
"That's what we expect out of Andy. He pounded the strike zone with his two pitches and he kept hitters off-balance," Estacada head coach Andrew Higgins said. "It's always a good tone-setter to go out and beat Gladstone."
Avants curveball was the particular pitch that gave Gladstone batters fits for the entire game.
"Every time I come out against Gladstone, I know I am going to have to get my curveball working because they're not a very good curveball hitting team. But I know that they can jump on the fastball," Avants said. "I was able to mix it up and do what I wanted to do."
Gladstone pitcher Matthew Kuhn pitched a strong four innings for the Gladiators, but the Rangers were able to get him off the bump when he lost his command in the fifth.
"We're starting to figure out that he can't go much more than five (innings)," Gladstone head coach Casey Webster said. "The bottom line is that we made too many mistakes...You can't afford to do that in this type of ballgame."
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