Baseball: Zach Ranney’s bat, arm carry Burlington Central past Richmond-Burton
Updated: April 17, 2012 9:36PM
Burlington Central pitcher Zach Ranney had a day to remember on Tuesday both on the mound and at the plate.
The senior tossed a complete game and hit a three-run homer to lead Burlington Central to their sixth straight win, 6-2 over visiting Richmond-Burton in the Big Northern East. The righthander struck out seven and walked none while scattering eight hits to run his record to 4-0 on the season.
“Zach had another solid outing today,” said Central coach Kyle Nelson. “He’s not going to blow a lot batters away and he’ll give up a few hits. But he won’t back down to anyone. He goes out there and challenges every hitter. He did that again today. He throws strikes and when you can eliminate those free bases it makes it all the tougher on the other team.”
Ranney let an early 2-0 lead slip away. But when Blake Alexander drove in Riley Jensen to put Burlington Central (13-5, 3-0) back on top 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Ranney wasn’t about to let the lead get away again.
Ranney held R-B scoreless over the final three innings. A couple of errors in the sixth and seventh innings got Ranney into some hot water. But he stranded a pair of runners in the sixth and then left the bases loaded in the seventh getting the final batter to ground out to short.
“Everything felt good out there today,” said Ranney. “It’s probably the best I have felt all season. My mechanics felt good. Coach is always telling me to challenge the hitters and just throw strikes and that’s what I did..”
Ranney gave himself some insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning by ripping a three-run homer over the left-field fence. It was his second home run of the season.
“I was just looking get a big hit to try and drive in the runners,” said Ranney. “I got a nice pitch I was able to drive.”
Clem Acitelli drove in Burlington Central’s first two runs with a two out single in the second inning to put Central on top 2-0. Tanner Scott went 3-for-4.“We’ve been doing it with real good pitching pitching and timely hitting,” said Nelson. “We got that agaain today. A couple weeks ago we had a real bad 11-1 loss at McHenry. A game where we didn’t show up ready to play. I think that was kind of our wake-up call. That made us realize you can’t take any thing for granted and we have to be ready every time out.”