WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | Trouble doggedly stalked Dan Stum for seven innings Monday at Senator Park, but it never caught him.
The Hanover Central senior pitched around seven hits, stranding 10 runners in the Times No. 5 Wildcats' 3-0 Porter County Conference victory over No. 10 Washington Township.
"It definitely gives you a sense of urgency," Stum said. "Pitching with a 1-0 lead most of the game, any runner, that's possibly the game."
Dan Balich's first-inning home run stood as the game's only run until the sixth. In that span, Washington put two runners on base three times, but netted nothing. Stum also got out of a one-out, second-and-third dilemma in the sixth.
"He beared down," Hanover coach Doug Nelson said. "That's what seniors are supposed to do. When he's going good, he's getting a lot of ground-ball outs. He made pitches when he had to. Him being able to throw seven (innings) was big in more ways than one."
Balich's two-out RBI single in the sixth provided some breathing room and a pair of Senators errors scored him.
"We left too many guys in base," Nelson said. "Same as Saturday. (Washington starting pitcher Justin) Landgrebe kept us off balance enough where we were just missing the sweet spots."
Corey Holderread doubled twice and Bob Ross also had two hits for hard-luck Washington (10-2, 3-1), the victim of several loud outs.
"All we can do is hit it," Senators coach Randy Roberts said. "We hit three of four line drives and a number of hard-hit balls at the second baseman. We just couldn't find any holes. Sometimes, a swinging bunt off the end of the bat wins the game."
The victory puts Hanover (10-3, 4-0) in the driver's seat of the PCC race with games scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
"It's definitely a huge win," Stum said. "We control our own destiny. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going."