Despite a winning record to this point, the East Limestone High baseball team knew it had been having some difficulty against left-handed pitching.

So earlier this week, the Indians put in some extra effort working on that problem.

Friday night it paid off.

The Indians stroked 12 hits against a pair of West Limestone left-handers and beat the Wildcats 11-1 at home.

“That’s probably the sixth or seventh left-hander we’ve seen this year, and we’ve been pulling off of everything,” East Limestone head coach Bill Tribble said. “So, Wednesday and Thursday all we did was put a tee up outside, and we hit for four hours.

“We really concentrated on hitting the ball the other way, and I thought we did a great job today of hitting the ball the other way.”

The Indians (now 7-4) started fast.

Jacob Schrimsher started the game with a double to left field. After Brett Dollar walked, Matthew Bailey drove a base hit to center field to score Schrimsher for a 1-0 lead.

Two batters later, Gil Johnson lifted a triple to the wall in right-center field, and Adam Davis followed with a double to right field for a 4-0 lead.

“It has been a problem until now,” said Johnson, who later hit a double to right field and finished the night with two RBIs. “We worked it all week, hitting the outside pitch away.

“They were throwing a lefty, so I guess the word had gotten around that we can’t hit it. Word’s going to get back around that we can now.”

Matthew Bailey led the Indians with three hits and drove in three runs. Cody Wales added two hits and scored two runs.

“We tried to get the guys to think a little bit at the plate, instead of going up there and not having a plan,” Tribble said. “We talked to them about trying to hit the ball the other way, trying to put it in play and cutting the strike outs down.”

Although he contributed two hits at the plate, Wales did his best work on the mound for the Indians.

The right-hander gave up two hits in the first inning, but stranded three runners after loading the bases with just one out.

After that he gave up just three hits, two of them in the third inning, when Colton Hill blasted a solo home run, and Jimmy Campbell had a two-out double.

“I usually am a closer, not a starter,” Wales said. “As we went along my arm got stronger and stronger I felt like.

“It was mostly my fastball. I usually throw a slider, and it works for me every now and then. My slider is usually my best pitch, but it wasn’t working as well as it should tonight.

I tried to keep the ball down, but I got up there a little bit high and that’s when they hit the home run.”

Wales finished with six strikeouts and walked just one batter. He got 10 ground-ball outs, including seven on balls which he fielded between home and the pitcher’s mound.

“That’s just my advantage of speed I guess,” Wales said. “I’ve got a strong arm, so if they are quick I’ve got a strong enough arm to get it to first in time.”

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