Starkville Academy's Hunter Bolin struck out 14 and only walked three as the Volunteers defeated the Bobcats. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The wind was blowing in the face of Starkville Academy pitcher Hunter Bolin during his entire outing on Monday afternoon.
It didn't keep him from blowing pitches by the Presbyterian Christian School batters.
Bolin struck out 14 and only walked three as the Volunteers defeated the Bobcats 5-2 at home.
With the gusts potentially being a factor in the game, Bolin knew what he had to do on the mound.
"Any pop fly you hit here is going to go out," Bolin said. "With wind like this, you've just got to keep the ball down and get them to hit it on the ground as much as possible."
Most of the time Presbyterian Christian couldn't hit Bolin at all.
Bolin struck out the side twice with a runner on base and only surrendered four hits. He had five-straight strikeouts during the third and fourth frames.
Starkville Academy coach Neal Henry said it has become a common site to see Bolin in command of a game.
"That's expected out of him," Henry said. "He's been here since 9th grade. He was thrown into the fire early in his 9th and 10th grade year. He was dominant as a junior. This year, we expected him to be dominant and go out there and pitch. He does every time and you know what you are going to get."
Bolin gave up a run in the first inning to fall behind early, then gave up a leadoff double in the third inning and two wild pitches caused another Bobcat runner to score.
Despite those hiccups, Bolin knew he just had to work through it.
"I knew I got into a couple of jams early and late," Bolin said. "I just knew that if I kept throwing strikes, my defense would help me out. (PCS) helped me too by chasing some pitches out of the zone. We made the plays and I made the pitches that won it for us."
After the third inning, Bolin put together four-straight scoreless innings to finish the game.
Bolin had runners on base in six of the seven innings he worked, but it never seemed to rattle the senior Vol.
"He doesn't let stuff bother him," Henry said. "He just brushes it off and knows to throw strikes. He's got so much movement and throws pitches for a strike at any time. He does a good job of utilizing that.
"With him being an old guy, a senior and has been here before, he knows exactly what to do and what was expected out of him."
The SA offense generated just enough offense behind Bolin.
Stephen Robertson launched a home run, helped by the wind, in the first inning to tie the game.
The Vols took a 2-1 lead in the second frame when Harper Arnold doubled and came home on a pair of wild pitches.
Starkville Academy added to its advantage with a pair of runs on two hits in the third and got its final run in the fourth without a hit.
After improving their record to 2-2, the Vols travel to Hattiesburg for a pair of games with Presbyterian Christian on Wednesday.
View more articles in: