HURRICANE, W.Va. - The Hurricane baseball team combined offensive firepower and pitching prowess in an impressive 15-1, five-inning victory against Capital on Tuesday night.
The Redskins scored in each of their four at-bats and rallied behind an 11-run fourth inning, while senior starting pitcher Riley Metz tossed a complete game scattering two hits.
"Any time you score every inning, that's fun baseball," Hurricane Coach Brian Sutphin said.
With plenty of run support in hand, Metz focused on mowing through the Capital lineup.
"It makes the game a lot easier, a lot smoother," Metz said of the offensive support. "You don't have to worry about as much when runners get on base or runners in scoring position. You just do your thing."
Metz allowed just one run on two hits while striking out four and walking none. The key for Metz was attacking the strike zone, Sutphin said.
"I thought Riley threw the ball well and was aggressive pounding the strike zone," the coach said. "He was really getting ahead. There wasn't a lot of mystery there. He was going at them and I thought he had some good plays behind him, but more than anything else he was aggressive.
"I think that once we scored some runs, that makes it a lot easier to pitch as well. You can relax and trust your stuff a little bit more. But, I thought right off the bat, that first inning, he was throwing his fastball inside, outside, getting on the black, really changing speeds. That's the mark of any good pitcher, but especially Riley. When he's aggressive to the hitter, he's had success."
Almost fittingly, Metz's solid performance came just days before he is to sign his letter of intent to play baseball for Lenoir-Rhyne University (N.C.). Metz is scheduled to sign in a ceremony at 11:45 a.m. Thursday at Hurricane.
In addition to pitching, Sutphin said Lenoir-Rhyne coaches expressed they are impressed with his hitting. At the college level, Metz could pitch or play a corner infield position, first base or third, as he does for the Redskins.
For Metz, he said his signing is the realization of a goal brought to fruition.