RICHMOND - Edison senior hurler Mark Smyth kept Bellaire batters off balance from start to finish, helping the Wildcats earn a 7-1 home victory over the Big Reds Wednesday at Jefferson Lake State Park.
Smyth gave up just two hits while striking out eight and issuing only one free pass.
"Mark had a great game," said Edison head coach Mike Collopy. "He hit his spots. The type of game he pitched today, to be honest, is the type of game we expect out of him. He and coach (Jim) Marcus worked well together. He pitched to contact. When you pitch to contact you keep your defensive teammates in the game and you give yourself a chance to win as opposed to if you're walking guys."
EARNING A VICTORY — Edison pitcher Mark Smyth delivers a pitch during the Wildcats’ 7-1 win over Bellaire Wednesday in Richmond. Smyth gave up just two hits while striking out eight in the win.
-- Fred Younce
Added Bellaire coach John Patrone of Smyth, "He did a nice job. He threw a great game. We got guys on base, we just left them on there. We have to get a hit when we have runners in scoring position.
"That's the big thing."
Smyth received all the run support he needed in the opening frame. Lead off man Chad Wickham reached on a walk and was eventually pushed in on a Josh Pasek single. Pasek later scored on a double by Alec Jones to make the score 2-0.
Edison picked up another run in the bottom of the third. Greg Stagani drew a walk, moved to second on an error, was sent to third by a Smyth fly ball and scored on a passed ball.
After Bellaire scored what ended up being its lone run of the game in the top of the fourth Edison gave itself some breathing room in the bottom half of the frame.
Warren Rawlings was the first to reach base when he was hit by a Bellaire pitcher Nick Patrone offering. The bases were eventually loaded with Rawlings on third, Koby Sronce on second and Wickham on first.
Pasek drew the innings fourth walk to plate Rawlings and then Edison took advantage of a Bellaire miscue with some aggressive base running. A passed ball allowed Sronce to score, and Bellaire catcher Wyatt Back had issues corralling the ball. Wickham seeing this made a break for home and slid in for the third run of the frame while Pasek rounded to third. Smyth pushed Pasek in two batters later with a double to make the score 7-1.
"We work a lot on baserunning," said Collopy. "It's always good to see when you work a lot on something for it to pay off in games. We're just going to keep working to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves in games."
Over the final three innings, Bellaire only had one runner reach scoring position against Smyth, who never had to face more than four batters in a frame during that period to close out the win.
"We've been playing well enough to win this year," said Patrone. "Even today our kids didn't quit, but sometimes the ball is going to bounce your way and sometimes it's not. With these guys you can't give them chances. They're a great team.
"Hats off to them because they didn't make those mistake we did today."
The two teams are set to face off again Friday at Bellaire.
"Defensively I thought we came ready to play," said Collopy. "That's been our challenge, to be ready to play every pitch of every out of every inning of every game.
"We're just looking to build off of every day and we have another big day of practice tomorrow to get ready for Friday."
Edison 7, Bellaire 1
Bellaire 000 100 0 - 1 2 4
Edison 201 400 x - 7 4 4
BELLAIRE: Patrone (LP, 6K, 7BB) and Back. Badia S; Conroy S, R; Back RBI.
EDISON (9-2): Smyth (WP, 8K, 1BB) and Bertha. Wickham 2R; Pasek S, 2RBI, 2R; Stagani R; Smyth D, RBI; Jones D, RBI; Rawlings R; Hilt S; Sronce R.