ST. PETERSBURG — Osceola’s Keith Weisenberg looked very much like the dominant pitcher major league scouts think he will be in Friday night’s 3-0 win over Northeast.
In front of about 15 scouts, Weisenberg struck out six, walked one and allowed only one hit in his five innings of work.
But he wasn’t the only player who stood out in the Warriors’ win. Luke Hains was 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Jaret Helinger had an RBI double, Jacob McFadden hit a home run to centerfield and relief pitcher Buddy Dougherty picked up his third save with two scoreless innings.
“We have a good combination right now with Keith starting and Buddy coming in,” Osceola coach Stefan Futch said. “We’re playing great defense and getting great pitching. And we got some timely hitting.”
Northeast pitcher Colton Tison looked good early but ran into trouble in the second and third innings. Osceola (7-1) scored its first run with two outs in the second.
Tyler Malinowski singled and Hains drove him in with a double. In the third, Abbi Jimenez got a one out double. Helinger then drove him in with a double. On the next pitch, Helinger tried to steal third but was thrown out. Two pitches later, McFadden hit Tison’s fastball over the fence to make it 3-0.
Those were all the runs Weisenberg needed. He did not allow a Northeast runner past second base.
“Northeast was a solid opponent and I knew they weren’t a team to overlook,” Weisenberg said. “When you execute your game plan, get ahead of hitters, it makes it a lot easier. After we got two runs in the third I knew it was important to shut the door in the next inning.”
Tison lasted one more inning before being replaced by Ryan Quinlivan, who quieted the Osceola bats. Dougherty pitched the last two innings and got the final two outs on strikeouts.
Northeast (5-3) had only two hits, one by Will Condon in the second and one by Bret Maxwell in the sixth.
“We’re playing pretty well right now,” Futch said. “We’ll see. But I like the way we’re pitching, hitting and playing defense.”