Darton starter Tyler Oglesby allowed two hits and struck out six Friday as the Cavs blanked Lake Michigan, 6-0.
ALBANY — First it was Darton starter Tyler Oglesby. Then it was Shawn Thomas who stepped on the mound. Finally, Lake Michigan College got a dose of Matthew Aldrich.
That was how Lake Michigan began its season Friday.
And that’s also how Darton rolled to a 6-0 victory Friday.
“I told (Thomas and Aldrich) that this was probably the three best pitchers they will see all year,” Oglesby said of a conversation he had with his teammates following their combined shutout. “They were like, ‘Yeah, you’re probably right.’ ”
The trio of freshmen allowed just three hits in nine innings of work and struck out 13 hitters, giving Lake Michigan a loss in its first time on a baseball field since October. The Indians have made a trip to the South each year for more than a decade, and Friday night was their season opener.
Darton’s pitching staff made it a tough way to start the season. Oglesby threw the first five innings, allowed two hits and struck out six, while Thomas threw two perfect innings of relief and Aldrich tossed the final two innings and gave up just one hit.
Aldrich, a Lee County native who transferred to Darton after spending last season at Valdosta State, ran his season strikeout total to 42, which leads the nation.
“Aldrich had some control issues last year at Valdosta State and didn’t really pitch,” Darton coach Scot Hemmings said. “He comes out here and has a lot of confidence, and he is as good as I have ever seen. He is as good as I have ever coached. His slider is as good as I have ever seen.”
And Oglesby, who didn’t allow a hit until the third inning, is one of the toughest No. 2 pitchers in the NJCAA.
“They are one and two, two and one. It doesn’t even matter,” Hemmings said. “And then Shawn was throwing 91, 92 out there. So there are three front-line starters that are pretty tough.”
Darton’s hitters, who had just five hits Friday, have had a slow start to the season and have appreciated their pitchers dominating on the mound.
“Every time I come in I tell them great job and keep it up,” Darton right fielder Kevin Manos said. “If they have a bad inning, I just tell them not to worry about it and get them next inning.”
As of late, there haven’t had too many bad innings for either the Darton pitching staff or Manos, who was 3-for-4 with three RBI. The sophomore from Woodstock now has 20 RBI this season and is in the Top 25 in the nation.
“He brings it every day,” Hemmings said about Manos. “He brings it in practice. He brings it in games. We are up 6-0, and he is still hustling. He brings it every day.”
Darton (11-6) jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning and then scored once in the fifth, once in the sixth and twice in the seventh. The Cavs, who have now won three in a row, have three days off before beginning Region XVII play Tuesday at South Georgia, followed by Wednesday at Chipola.
TITANS TO HOST CHATTAHOOCHEE TECH IN REGION XVII TOURNAMENT OPENER TUESDAY:
ALBANY — The No. 4 seed Albany Tech men’s basketball team will host the first round of the Region XVII tournament Tuesday against No. 5 Chattahoochee Tech at 7 p.m. at Darton College.
ATC is calling for a “Black Out” and wants its fans to wear all black.
Also Friday, it was announced that former Worth County star and ATC starter Jamorris Gaines was named First-Team All-Conference.