Putt’s one-hitter leads Greensburg Salem baseball to share of Section 1-4A title
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 9:26 PM
Greensburg Salem junior pitcher Aaren Putt doesn’t overpower opposing hitters.
With a solid defense behind him, he doesn’t have to.
Putt allowed a leadoff hit to Mt. Pleasant’s Asker O’Connor and then retired the next 19 batters to lead Greensburg Salem to a 5-0 victory in a Section 1-4A game Wednesday.
The victory by the Golden Lions (14-2, 10-2) clinched a tie for the section with Yough (12-5, 10-2). It was their first section title since 2012 and first for coach Bill Wisniewski.
Mt. Pleasant (8-8, 6-6) also qualified for the playoffs.
“Winning the section was our goal from Day 1,” Wisniewski said. “I jumped the boys at our first practice and told them what we did last year doesn’t mean anything this year. They bought into that, and they deserve everything they earned.
“The group of seniors has grinded for four seasons, and they deserved this. The win over No. 1 Blackhawk in last year’s playoffs was huge for our program. ”
Putt allowed a one-out walk to opposing pitcher Joe Shrum in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Pete Billey reached on an error. Putt then got Jared Wagner to hit into a game-ending double play.
He walked one and struck out two.
CONGRATS TO OUR GOLDEN LIONS ON A SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!! https://t.co/AF7EHgYiTl
— GbgSalemAthletics (@GS_SportsUpdate) May 8, 2019
“Aaren is a very good pitcher,” Mt. Pleasant coach Chris Firmstone said. “One of the top pitchers in the section. Our plate approach wasn’t good. He threw to contact.
“I felt Joe pitched well, too. We had to have a clean game, and we didn’t.”
Putt said counting on his teammates was big. His outfielders — Noah Sweeney, Dajauhn Hertzog and Sage Parsley — made catches, and his infielders were nearly flawless.
“I’m not an overpowering pitcher. I let my guys work behind me,” Putt said. “That’s what I did. It’s another step for us to reach one of our goals, winning the section title.
“We didn’t hit the ball as well, but we got the job done. Joe pitched a great game. We just got the bats going late.”
Shrum also pitched a solid game, but he was done in by his defense, which committed four errors. He allowed 10 hits, walked one and struck out four.
All five Greensburg Salem runs were unearned.
The Golden Lions took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when courtesy runner Trent Stevens, running for freshman catcher Hayden Teska, scored on a throwing error.
In the sixth inning, the Golden Lions scored four times.
Sweeney, who went 3 for 4, singled, and Brayden Merichko bunted for a hit. Sage Parsley laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Sweeney scored when Hertzog’s grounder was booted for a 2-0 lead.
Putt then hit a sacrifice fly to score Merichko and make it 3-0.
Greensburg Salem wasn’t done as Hertzog scored on an error, and Stevens, running for Teska again, scored on Jack Oberdorf’s single.
The Golden Lions had 12 hits, with Teska, Oberdorf and Merichko getting two apiece.
“I thought both pitchers pitched well,” Wisniewski said. “(Putt) allowed one hit, and he trusted his fielders. Our key is quality at-bats, which means in high school baseball putting the ball in play. When you do that, good things happen.”
Both teams will wait to find out their playoff seedings Friday.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .