Jack Callahan slides in ahead of the throw to steal second against Jefferson. GINI DAVIS - THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE


Dean Howard pitched a five-inning 12-0 shutout of the visiting Jefferson Lions as the Creswell Bulldogs opened baseball preseason play on March 12.
The Dawgs were walked 11 times – eight times in the third inning, bringing in run after run with bases loaded.
”We scored 10 runs in the bottom of the third,” noted Creswell Head Coach Chris Whitmore.
From the plate, Howard went 1-for-3 with a double, had two RBIs and scored a run. Dylan Miller went 1-for-3 and scored twice. Jack Callahan and Andrew Larrison got on base on fielder's choice plays.
Jarek Hodge had two RBIs and a run; Callahan and Colton White each had an RBI and two runs; Dawson Sharkey and Larrison each had an RBI and a run; and Dallton Dewey scored twice.
”We were able to be smart and patient at the plate and take advantage, because they weren't throwing strikes,” Whitmore said.
The Dawgs struck out only four times – all swinging, not looking. ”But there were a few times when we got behind in the count by looking at pitches down the middle of the plate,” Whitmore said. ”We have to do a better job of recognizing pitches we should be swinging at – being more aggressive with strikes.”
In earning the win on the mound, Howard gave up just one hit and struck out 13, giving up no bases on balls.
”I'm more impressed with the no free bases than the 13 strikeouts,” Whitmore said.
And Howard's performance may be indicative of more good things to come – not only from him but from his fellow pitchers as well. Whitmore predicts this will be the year when the stable of pitchers he's been developing over the past couple of years fully comes into its own.
”I really feel like we're going to have one of the better pitching staffs in our league this year,” he said. ”This is their year to shine.”