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Kyle DeLong wasn’t overpowering. Owen County just couldn’t hit him Friday night.
The junior left-hander scattered five hits and struck out nine as homestanding Anderson County routed its regional rival, 9-1.
DeLong gave up an unearned run in the first, then was in complete control the rest of the way. At one point he retired 10 straight batters and did not issue a walk as he went the distance for the newly-ranked Bearcats.
“DeLong has been throwing well after his first couple of outings,” Anderson coach L.W. Barnes said. “You don’t need a lot of velocity to be effective. Pitching is about hitting your spots and not putting people on base.”
DeLong did just that. Three of Owen’s five hits were bloopers or infield hits. The Rebels had just a handful of hard-hit balls all night.
“All he did was hit his spots and throw strikes,” Anderson shortstop Jeremy Turpin said.
“My change was working early but then I was able to get them out with my fastball,” DeLong said.
He got all the offense he would need in a four-run third. Jacob Brown delivered the big hit, a bases-loaded triple off the fence in right field. Brown came home on Jacob Russell’s ground out.
“I’ve been hitting it pretty good,” Brown said. “In high school ball, this is the best I have been hitting.”
Tied at one with one out, Brown tagged Owen pitcher Jordan Cox for what turned out to be the game-winner. “That triple was the big hit and got us going,” Barnes said. “We had a little lack of focus at the beginning.”
Brown added a run-scoring double, finishing the day at 2-for-4 with four RBI.
Anderosn had tied things in the second with Kyle Rogers driving in Russell with a sacrifice fly, then scored a single unearned run in the fourth, two in the fifth and another in the sixth.
A traditionally solid program, Owen fell to 9-9 against a strong schedule that has included Ballard, Dunbar and Franklin County, which scored a one-run win over the Rebels.
“It was a good win because it was a big regional rival,” DeLong said.
E-mail John Herndon at firstname.lastname@example.org.