Varsity Kansas

Ayres gives hitters time to get going

With a wind that was sending many baseballs over the fence to all fields Tuesday, Bishop Carroll and Maize were looking for a pitcher to provide stability.

Maize found it in its third right-hander of the night, Dillon Ayres. Called on after Maize grabbed a one-run lead in the bottom of the third, Ayres pitched two hitless innings.

His teammates never stopped hitting, and Maize won 17-4 in a run rule. Maize hit four home runs, including two by Tory Bell, who accounted for seven RBIs in his final two at-bats and ended the game with a grand slam in the sixth inning.

"We were going to throw five or six guys," Maize coach Rocky Helm said. "(Ayres) came in and threw one inning and I sent him back out there again just because he had command and I liked what he did."

Carroll's Brandon Weber hit a three-run home run in the first off Matt Dietz, who struggled in his two innings. Gage Byers, Maize's first relief pitcher, struck out the side in the third but allowed two walks and a run.

Byers helped Maize rally with a two-run home run in the third, and Conner Knight's two-run shot gave Maize the lead later in the inning. Ayres and Dillon Kerans finished with three combined innings allowing one runner into scoring position.

"They came in and threw strikes," said Bell, Maize's catcher. "We told them to just relax and throw strikes and (the offense) would do the rest."

Maize broke it open with six unearned runs in the fifth inning. Ross Cunningham scored when the force-out throw to second was wild and got past center fielder Zach Stucky. Shaun Reid drove in two with a single and Bell capped the inning with a three-run home run.

Bell's second homer came on a full-count pitch. Maize managed 17 runs on 10 hits, walking eight times and taking advantage of three Carroll errors.

" (Hitting home runs is) something that really just happens," Helm said. "Our approach at the plate was really good. Our whole mentality is to stay middle-away and if they leave us something...we hit two home runs to center, but the last one he turned on it."

Bishop Carroll301 000 — 4 3 3 Maize005 066 — 17 10 1

W—Ayres. L—Jackson. HR—Bishop Carroll, Weber, Stucky; Maize, Byers, Knight, Bell 2.