Cody Gibson’s mastery of Mineral County hitters picked up right where it left off Wednesday afternoon.
Whittell’s southpaw again whiffed 16 Serpents leading the Warriors to an 8-0 shutout in their home opener at Lampe Park. Gibby twirled a three-hitter, allowing just one walk. He struck out the side three times and retired the side on seven pitches in the first inning.
Westerly afternoon breezes usually neutralize a left-hander’s natural curve that breaks into a right-handed hitter. But the swirling Lampe winds seemed to help the lefty’s curve, enhancing its vertical 12-6 motion. Gibby seemed right at home with Lampe’s high mound, too, dubbed “Mount Lampe” during between-inning banter by the home plate umpire. The combination made the Warriors’ senior nearly untouchable.
Alex Barnes left the game in the fourth inning with an injury, but the Warriors played shorthanded, using only two outfielders to finish the game. It hardly mattered, as Gibby hunkered down and Mineral County mustered just a couple hits to the outfield from that point on.
Mineral County’s starter, lefty Matt Blazewick, also mesmerized Whittell hitters early, striking out four Warriors. But control problems forced him to give way in the second. By then, the red and gold led 6-0 and the game was in hand.
Serpent reliever Tanner Owens pitched well enough to win on most days, striking out seven, allowing only three hits and retiring nine in a row during one stretch.
For Whittell, Quinn Kixmiller and Matt Elliott had two hits each. Elliott and Gibson chipped in with RBIs. Jake Sharp, Chris Evans and Elliott scored twice each. Kixmiller and Cody Dangtongdee also tallied for the Warriors.
UP NEXT: A Saturday doubleheader versus South Tahoe at Lampe Park. Game times 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Mineral County 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Whittell 1 5 0 0 0 2 x -- 8