VICENZA, Italy – If the Naples Wildcats play next weekend’s games the same as they did Saturday against the Vicenza Cougars, they’ll arrive at two straight years of being undefeated during the regular season.
The fourth game of a weekend road trip usually starts to take its toll on a team, but you wouldn’t have guessed it by the way Naples routed Vicenza 17-0 – after a 17-3 victory in the opener.
“You left no doubt in my mind that you are the number one team,” Naples head coach Duke Marlow told his team following the second game, “and we owe a lot of today’s success to Jonny’s pitching.”
The Wildcats’ Jonny Bray pitched all seven innings of the second game, giving up only three hits. He struck out 13 – one more than four Cougar pitchers combined for on the day.
Bray also fielded a pair of grounders cleanly and his teammates played strongly behind him as well earning their 10th win of the season.
The Cougars did have some highlights. Levi Martin drifted from being the catcher during the first game to throwing seven strikeouts from the pitcher’s mound during the second game. Martin also scored one of the team’s three runs, along with Louis Veazey and Bryce Fisher.
Vicenza’s Christopher Gay, in a last ditch effort to help his team score in the second game, cranked out a triple. But he was stranded.
Marlow said his team still has plenty to work on.
“We’re looking for ways to play defense better and we’re looking for ways to play a little small ball,” Marlow said.
Naples’ Kory McKinney hit two triples between the two games and scored five times. Josh Wieder had a double and a triple in the second game, scoring five times and driving in four.
George Shaffer and Sam Murdock crossed home plate six times.
With a little wiggle room for errors, the Wildcats managed to keep them to a minimum totaling three between both games.
“We’ve been working a lot on our throwing errors and we don’t make a lot of mistakes or beat ourselves too often,” Marlow said.