LAND O’ LAKES — A pitching duel was expected, and a duel is what it was.
Fivay’s Sean Fluke outpitched David Castillo as the Falcons (5-2) topped 5A-District 8 foe Sunlake (4-3), 2-1, in eight innings Tuesday night.
“We expected it to be a good pitching matchup, and it sure was,” Fivay coach Matt Hayes said. “And Sean Hayes pitched one amazing game.”
Fluke (5-0) gave up five hits with no walks and struck out eight on 98 pitches, which outdid Castillo (2-2), who had 15 strikeouts on 131 pitches. Castillo allowed four walks and hit two batters, including plunking Charlie Simmens with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth to score T.J. Niles for the winning run.
Sunlake rallied in the bottom of the seventh after Omar Cala reached on an error by Sean Litvin that allowed Zac Howard to score from second. Fivay had taken a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Fluke singled and stole second. Then an errant pickoff let courtesy runner Richard Brohm score from second.
Both Fluke and Castillo worked out of two-on, no-out jams in the sixth inning. Castillo was aided by catcher interference and got a strikeout, while Fluke struck out two of three batters after allowing two singles to start the inning.
“I knew that I had to just have trust in my shortstop (Jarrod Mattos) and get the strikes down and get ahead in counts,” Fluke said. “I knew I could get ground balls throughout the game, too, but I knew this game would be a close one the whole way.”