Baseball: Warmth disappears as Hobart grinds out a win in season openerMerrillville's Aaron Dye is out at home plate with Hobart catcher Nick Bokun in the first inning Monday afternoon at Merrillville High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 26, 2012 9:38PM
MERRILLVILLE — Right on cue, blustery weather made its re-appearance for the start of the region high school baseball season. Less on cue was a late-arriving Hobart team, but the Brickies prevailed nonetheless with a 1-0 win over host Merrillville.
The bats still had a chill on them from the winter’s storage as the two teams were scoreless through four innings.
Merrillville (0-1) mustered the only real threat in the bottom of the first inning. The Pirates’ Aaron Dye tried to score from second base on a slow roller in the infield. Hobart shortstop Tyrus Joseforsky kept an eye on Dye and instead of throwing to first, he reloaded and gunned down Dye at the plate.
“The wind was howling in and we were facing a great pitcher,” Merrillville coach Mark Schellinger said. “We knew that we would have to try and manufacture some runs.”
Hobart (1-0) finally broke the ice in the fifth inning, scoring a run without the benefit of a hit.
Drey Devereaux led off the inning being hit by a pitch, then pinch-hitter Guy Birchel reached base forcing Devereaux at second. Anthony Burgos, pinch-running for Birchel, took second on a wild pitch and then stole third. Burgos scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by lead-off man Chris Moore.
That one run turned out to be all the support Hobart pitcher Brandon Murray needed. Murray (1-0) gave up just one hit, a double to Dye, as he faced just three batters over the minimum. The junior righty went the distance, striking out 10 and surrendering three walks in the process.
“(Murray) is a name that the people who follow the younger kids and the travel stuff know pretty well,” said Hobart coach Bob Glover. “He’s just a sophomore, but he can throw in the upper eighties and people will get to know him real soon.”
Merrillville pitcher Ian Stacks (0-1) kept the Pirates in the game, surrendering just the one run on two hits while striking out seven in the loss.