Panthers baseball alone on top of conference

By Rich Hull
O’Fallon Weekly Sports

Sr. pitcher Bradley Harrison

Sr. pitcher Bradley Harrison pitched 12 strikeouts against Belleville East Tuesday night. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Rich Hull)

The OTHS boys’ varsity baseball team is sitting alone at the top of the SWC after a 7 – 0 shutout of neighboring Belleville East, Tuesday night.

The Panthers struck for two runs in the first inning behind a two-out double by Jr. Joe Guithues. They got three more in the second with some help from the host Lancers. The Lancers committed two errors in the inning, which helped the single by Sr. Dillon Weiss and RBI single by Soph. Jared Dalonzo. Dalonzo would reach base three times and score two runs to go with the RBI.

Sr. pitcher Bradley Harrison (9 – 0) wouldn’t need any more run support than that; as he cruised to a 12 strikeout night.

“He had good command of his pitches tonight,” said Head Varsity Coach Jason Portz. “He had excellent placement of his curve and was putting his fastball on the outside part of the plate. He was dominate.”

O’Fallon would score twice more in the fifth inning. There were two outs and Harrison chopped one to second for what seemed to be a routine play to end the inning; but, the second baseman booted the ball and Harrison legged it out to beat the throw to first.

“He hustles on every play,” said Portz. “That’s the type of player he is. He gives his best effort on every play.”

Joe Guithues vs Belleville East

Junior Jordan Richardson makes a play at first. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Rich Hull)

The win improves the Panthers’ record to 21 – 3 overall and 8 – 1 in the league, a game ahead of Edwardsville; and, two games ahead of both Belleville West and Alton. Their next game is at East St. Louis on Thursday night at 4:30.