By Brad Morris
Logan Smith threw a four-hitter on Monday to help lead Circleville to a 3-1 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win over visiting Logan Elm.
Smith allowed an unearned run, walked two batters, hit another and struck out eight in his 96-pitch outing.
“This was Logan’s best start since opening night,” Circleville coach Brian Bigam said. “He was able to work ahead of hitters most of the evening. We threw his curveball and fastball much more tonight, which is kind of funny. We’ve been throwing his cutter and change up a ton this year, but he hasn’t had a feel for his change-up the last few games.
“It says a lot about his ability to adapt and be a pitcher, not a thrower. I love Logan’s competitive spirit and I am proud of him.”
Circleville dented the plate twice in the second to take a 2-0 lead.
Brody Brisker worked a walk with one out and advanced to third on a double to right off the bat of Drew Thornsley.
After a strikeout, Nolan West lined a 3-1 offering to center to drive in both runners.
Logan Elm countered with its run in the third when Zane Seimer singled to left with two outs to drive in Zack Parks.
The Tigers scored the final run of the game in the fourth when West lined a single to left with one out to knock in Thornsley.
West went a perfect 4-for-4 in the leadoff spot and drove in all three runs to lead the Tigers.
“Nolan hit the ball hard last week but maybe didn’t have the hits to show for it,” Bigam said. “He was our leading hitter last season, so it’s nice to see his bat start to heat up. His second hit was so clutch. We had left a lot of runners in scoring position with less than one out, and he stepped up with a clutch two-out single to get our first two runs in.”
Grant Cline scattered eight hits and three runs (two earned) over six innings for the Braves. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out 10.
The Tigers (10-6, 5-3) resume a league game on Tuesday at Fairfield Union, while the Braves (3-13, 2-7) continue league play on Wednesday when they host Liberty Union.
Circleville 3, Logan Elm 1
Logan Elm 001 000 0 — 1 4 2
Circleville 020 100 X —3 8 2
Cline and Summers; L. Smith and Gray.