The Benton Cardinals might wake up with blisters on their hands and feet after the show they put on Friday against the St. Joseph Christian Lions at Phil Welch Stadium.
Benton won 15-0 over Christian (5-1) in just three innings of play.
Christian senior standout pitcher Levi Glidewell walked four batters in the bottom of the first inning, resulting in Benton (6-2) grabbing a quick 3-0 lead. This win marks the Cardinals fourth victory in a row. The game was called in the bottom of the third inning with just two outs recorded.
Benton coach Johnny Coy gives a good majority of the credit to his pitcher, junior Ethan Gwinn, who began the game by striking out the side. From there on out, it was all Cardinals.
“Ethan was filling up the strike zone,” Coy said. “He was really in the zone, really excited to get out here and pitch his game. I had all the confidence in the world in him. He delivered for us and did exactly what we wanted him to do. It was an overall great day.”
Gwinn was going up against Glidewell, who took the mound for Christian. Glidewell had pitched a perfect game earlier this season and is known throughout St. Joseph as one of the better pitchers in the city.
Despite going up against a standout like Glidewell, Gwinn was confident in himself and his team’s offense.
“Well I played with him in summer ball, and I knew he was a pretty good pitcher,” Gwinn said. “I knew our bats were pretty hot right now and we would come out and hit the ball. I wasn’t worried on the mound. We were just hitting the ball and scoring, so I had no worries.”
Glidewell only pitched one full inning until he was pulled. This is something Coy is not used to seeing out of a pitcher like Glidewell.
“Levi’s a pretty good pitcher,” Coy said. “(Glidewell) was throwing harder than he has in the past. I think he was maybe overthrowing a little bit, trying to blow it by them too much. It kind of got away from him a little bit, and he wasn’t able to find the strike zone as he normally does.”
Coy was happy with all-around team effort the Cardinals put together.
“We played pretty well,” Coy said. “We played great defense. We’re just taking it one game at a time. The guys are excited to play against an in-city school, and they’re 5-0, and the guys were excited to test themselves against that.”
Benton takes on Excelsior Springs (6-1) on Monday in St. Joseph. The Lions will remain in St. Joseph on Monday as well when they play Pattonsburg (2-2).