WALKERTON — The John Glenn baseball team found its return home to the Falcon Nest to its liking Wednesday.
Justin Gierlowski pitched a one-hit shutout in six innings of work, and Glenn batters scratched out runs in all but one inning as the Falcons celebrated their homecoming after 12 days on the road with a 10-0, six-inning diming of the visiting Triton Trojans in a Northern State Conference game in Walkerton.
“Our pitching again, this time Justin, just carried us,” said Glenn baseball coach John Nadolny. “The tone of the game is commanded by our pitchers. When your pitching is there, your defense becomes better. But we can never rest, never ease up; there’s always the little things to work on.”
Gierlowski fanned 10 while walking three in the one-hit, complete-game shutout to move to 3-0 on the mound this year, and he helped himself out at the plate with two RBIs off two doubles for the night.
He was given plenty of support from the rest of the Falcons order as all nine Glenn starters reached base at least once, highlighted by a Mark Einhorn three-run homer that just cleared the left field foul pole by inches in the second.
Glenn jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Einhorn singled and was doubled in by Gierlowski. Tyler Niespodziany led off the bottom of the second with a walk, and Cole Kaser reached safely on an error by Triton starting pitcher Pete Kauffman. After two quick outs, Einhorn’s shot to left pushed the Falcons out to a 4-0 lead.
Glenn hitters had only just started warming up, though, as they put up four more runs over the next two innings.
In the third, Austin Bloss drew a walk, Niespodziany doubled, and Kaser hit a deep sacrifice fly. The fourth saw more of the same with singles from Drew McDonald and David Jaworski before Kyle Liedtky’s double, which had Nadolny laughing when Liedtky tried to take three but was tagged out on a weird slide.
Triton’s Landon Kauffman broke up the no-no in the top of the fifth with a one-out hit to left, but Gierlowski bore down, striking out the next two batters to end the threat.
The score remained 8-0 until the bottom of the sixth when Cody Myer and McDonald drew walks, and Einhorn was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out, setting the table for SAC flies from Gierlowski and Jaworski for the walk-off win.
Despite the one-hit diming, Triton boss Rodney Younis stayed positive, saying that when you play Glenn, you’re playing against one of the top programs in the area.
“We’re young, we’ve got some guys hurt and out, but we’re hanging in there,” said Younis. “We’re learning day by day. Glenn’s program is where we want to be, and we’ll get there.”
• JOHN GLENN 10, TRITON 0
Triton: 000 000 — 0 1 1
Glenn: 132 202 — 10 8 1
Justin Gierlowski (W, 3-0) and David Jaworski; Pete Kauffman (L, 0-1), Seth Glingle (5) and Grant Stichter.
2B: Gierlowski (G) 2, Tyler Niespodziany (G), Kyle Liedtky (G)
HR: Mark Einhorn (G)
Records: Glenn 7-1 (2-0 NSC), Triton 1-5 (0-2 NSC).