Ike snaps three-game skid with 8-0 victory against Lawton
Jay Vermillion believed his team could play better.
After a pair of run-rule losses earlier in the week, Vermillion expressed disappointment in Eisenhower’s lapses on fundamental plays. The Eagles fumbled fly balls, both over and underthrew balls, and altogether looked out of sync.
Friday was different.
Behind pitcher Brayden Halberg and an improved hitting performance, Ike finally played like the team its coach knew it could be. The result: the Eagles found themselves on the other side of the run-rule, defeating Lawton High, 8-0 in five innings.
Starting in his first game of the week, Halberg was nearly unhittable. Through five innings, he struck out six and walked only one. Lawton High shortstop Kyler Jenderseck’s single in the fourth inning soared just behind the reach of the first baseman and just in front of the right fielder and was the only hit Halberg allowed.
“Isn’t that funny how that happens? A little Texas-leaguer falls in, but he pitched great,” Vermillion said. “He was outstanding. We’ve been waiting for this day because he has a lot of potential.”
Halberg’s play eased the minds of his teammates, too. After racking up numerous errors in its previous three contests, the defense played error-free against the Wolverines (3-9). The peace of mind wasn’t only apparent on defense, though.
“When he’s pitching like that, it gives our defense more confidence to get behind him and make plays,” Ike catcher Ryan Shows said. “It takes the pressure off the bats too. Altogether, it gives us a little less nervousness.”