Brett Morris is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA this season. Mike Ramczyk. (click for larger version)
April 23, 2013 | 05:00 PMWHITEWATER — Big Foot baseball coach Steve Bochat said his team's dominant pitching is the biggest reason the Chiefs are off to a 7-1 start.
But Bochat is being a tad modest. Dominant is an understatement.
Big Foot pitchers have compiled a 1.06 earned-run average in eight games this season.
The staff has 75 strikeouts in 53 innings and has only allowed 18 walks. The team's WHIP, or walks plus hits divided by innings pitched, is a staggering 0.96.
Big Foot enjoyed a 4-1 record last week and only allowed seven total runs.
"Our biggest key to our success is our dominant pitching staff and our defense," Bochat said. "Also, our kids believe in each other and each other's abilities to succeed."
Big Foot got another gem from ace pitcher Austin Hoey in Monday's 3-1 victory at Whitewater. Hoey, who has yet to allow an earned run in 21 innings this season, tossed another complete game, giving up three hits and striking out a season-high 12 Whippets.
The junior southpaw has earned a complete-game victory in all three of his starts this season.
Big Foot jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two runs in the second inning. Collin Frederick knocked an RBI single, and Big Foot scored on a wild pitch. Whitewater cut the lead to 2-1 in the third, but the Chiefs tacked on an insurance run in the fifth.
Big Foot senior Carter Hehr went 2-for-4 to lead the Chiefs. He is sizzling to start the season with a .556 batting average. Brett Morris added Big Foot's other hit.
Bochat isn't surprised by Big Foot's solid play.
"I anticipated a very strong start," he said. "Everyone picked us to be in the middle of the pack, but our team believes we are better than that. I've said all along we will be in the race at the end. If our kids can put it all together and just do their job, the sky is the limit with this team. We have great leadership."
Big Foot returns to Rock Valley South action with a doubleheader Saturday at Beloit Turner (6-2, 3-2 RVC). The Chiefs currently sit atop the RVC South standings (4-0).
"I believe Turner will be a dogfight," Bochat said. "We always play hard against each other. But we have a great opportunity to put them four games behind us if we can take both games."
Big Foot 2-2, Harvard, Ill. 0-5
Big Foot earned a split with the neighboring Hornets Saturday.
In the second game, the Chiefs got a dose of their own medicine. Harvard pitcher Peyton Schneider fired a one-hitter, striking out 15 Chiefs in the process.
Brian Wolski managed Big Foot's only hit.
Harvard took a 5-1 lead in the fifth and cruised from there.
In the opener, sophomore Brandon Hausner shut down the Hornets with a two-hitter and struck out eight.
"Hausner is only a sophomore and was just keeping the ball low and hitting his spots," Bochat said. "Hats off to our pitching coach, Coach Phillips."
Schneider broke up Hausner's no-hit bid in the seventh.
Hoey drove home Big Foot's first run with an RBI single in the sixth, and the Chiefs tacked on another run in the seventh.
Alex Landers, Zak Greco, Nate Freytag, Wolski and Frederick each tallied hits for the Chiefs.
Big Foot 4-4, Palmyra-Eagle 0-1
Big Foot improved its home record to 5-0 with a doubleheader sweep of the Panthers April 16.
In game two, a 4-1 victory, starter Brett Morris and Hausner combined to toss a three-hitter and struck out 12 batters. At the plate, Hausner drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to overcome a 1-0 deficit, and the Chiefs rallied for three more runs in the frame.
Additional runs came from a passed ball, a sacrifice fly by Hoey, and an RBI single from Morris.
Hehr was 2-for-2 to lead the Chiefs. Tim Long added a hit.
In the first game of the day, a 4-0 blanking, the Chiefs enjoyed another masterpiece from Hoey.
The lefty allowed only one hit and struck out 13 in a complete-game victory.
Morris racked up two RBIs on two hits for the Chiefs.
Big Foot piled on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Jon Quick sparked the rally by stealing home.