Patriots quickly blank Decatur Central

Apr. 19—Decatur Central pitcher Logan Markus had a great first trip through the Terre Haute North batting order in nonconference high school baseball Friday night at Don Jennings Field.

But North's Jonathan Milliington was solid all the way through the game, pitching a two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and no walks, and his teammates solved Markus for a 3-0 victory.

The game started late — the visitors had bus difficulties — but ended early, as Millington matched West Vigo's Hunter Cottrell in two-hit shutouts lasting less than two hours in the past three days.

Part of the reason for the 89-minute game Friday was what looked like a generous strike zone that had hitters from both teams swinging early in the count. Fans sitting in the cold wind didn't mind, and the pitchers didn't either.

"I loved it. It was great," said Millington, whose previous outing this year was a 1-0 complete-game win over Sullivan.

"I had a great set of defenders out there," Millington said in talking about Friday's game, "and me and the catcher [sophomore Tyler Lawson] were on the same page."

"He just threw his fastball," said North coach Scott Lawson when asked about his pitcher's performance. "He had command and did a good job getting ahead of batters."

Markus was impressive early, striking out seven of the first nine Patriots. But the next time through the order was tougher for him, and he finished with just eight strikeouts for the game.

With two out in the bottom of the third, Nate Millington — Jonathan's cousin — drew a walk and stole second. Freshman Brayden Dean, who had robbed Decatur Central's Jaydan Yates with a diving catch in the second inning, battled back from an 0-and-2 count to line an RBI single.

Dean took second on the throw home and scored when Briar Goda doubled — twice. Goda's first drive down the left-field line was ruled a foul ball, but he came close to duplicating the hit a pitch later and North led 2-0.

Jonathan Millington had allowed just an infield hit going into the top of the sixth, but Zach Losito of the Hawks singled with two out. He stole second, but Millington fanned Michael Garrison to end the inning.

North padded the lead in the bottom of the inning when Goda beat out a routine grounder to second, stole second and scored on a single by Austin Black, and Millington retired three straight batters in the seventh.

Jonathan Millington may or may not be the team's ace pitcher, but he is its senior leader — by default. He's the only 12th-grader on a sophomore-dominated roster.

"It's kind of good being with all these young guys," he said after Friday's game. "They're here to compete."

"We thought it would be a learning year," said coach Lawson, whose team is 4-1 so far. "We're building a culture and we're pretty athletic, with pretty good attitudes.

"There'll be some growing pains and there are lessons that have to be learned," the coach continued, "but it's a good group."

DECATUR CENTRAL (AB-R-H-RBI) — Losito ss 3-0-1-0, Garrison 2b 3-0-0-0, G.Smith dh 3-0-0-0, Mills c 0-0-0-0, Yates 1b 3-0-0-0, Markus p 3-0-1-0, Fidler 3b 2-0-0-0, Polston lf 2-0-0-0, B.Smith rf 2-0-0-0, Seib cf 2-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-2-0.

TERRE HAUTE NORTH (AB-R-H-RBI) — N.Millington ss 2-1-1-0, Dean lf 3-1-1-1, Goda cf 3-1-2-1, Gregg 1b 3-0-0-0, Black dh 3-0-1-1, J.Millington p 0-0-0-0, Lawason c 3-0-2-0, Moore rf 3-0-0-0, Fennell 3b 2-0-0-0, Burk 2b 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-3-7-3.

Decatur Central 000 000 0 — 0

Terre Haute North 002 001 x — 3

DP — DC 1. LOB — DC 2, THN 4. 2B — Goda, Lawson. SB — N.Millington, Losito, Goda, Black.

Decatur Central IP H R ER BB SO

Markus 6 7 3 3 1 8

Terre Haute North IP H R ER BB SO

J.Millington 7 2 0 0 0 7

WP — Markus. T — 1:29.

Next — Terre Haute North (4-1) hosts Parke Heritage on Monday. Decatur Central is 3-7.