By BRADEN LAYER
---- — WINDSOR — On a frigid Saturday afternoon where the cruel winter winds were still howling and the temperature continually seemed to be in a free fall, the Blue Devils of Windsor/Stew-Stras shrugged it off as if it were a calm, 80 degree summer day. The bats were lively, the pitching was flawless and the visiting Bluestreaks were overwhelmed from the start.
Windsor/Stew-Stras wasted no time asserting its dominance in a doubleheader against Martinsville, combining to put up 33 runs in just ten innings of total action. Mark Jones and Dylan Ohnesorge combined to throw a no-hitter in a 22-0 thumping in game one, and Ben Helton surrendered just two hits for an 11-0 shutout in game two.
The Blue Devils jumped all over Martinsville from the onset of game one, as Jones retired the first three batters he faced while the Windsor offense cruised to nine first-inning runs. After a single from Alex Allen and pair of walks to Hayden Cole and Gunner Theis, Justin Fulk hit a single up the gut that plated two and gave the Comets an early two-run lead.
They weren’t even close to finished. Trey Leasher’s sac bunt brought in another run, and Ben Helmuth drove a double to the outfield to bring two more Blue Devils across home plate. When the dust finally settled after the third out, Windsor/Stew-Stras had six hits in the opening frame off two more doubles by Cole and Thies, giving the Blue Devils a hefty cushion almost immediately.
”I was expecting them to maybe have a lot of errors,” Blue Devils’ coach Rodney Monbrum said of Martinsville. “But I think they maybe had one.”
To put it simply, it wasn’t a lack of Martinsville defense, Windsor/Stew-Stras just couldn’t be stopped at the plate. After Jones sent his next three batters back to the dugout, the Blue Devils piled on seven more runs in the bottom of inning two. Jones was hit by a pitch and Helmuth was sent to first on a walk, before Alex Allen hit his second of three singles in the game, knocking in two runs.
Theis drove in two more of his game-high five RBIs after Cole was walked on the ensuing at-bat with a double to left field, bringing the score to 11-0. One batter later Fulk continued the offensive assault, doubling to right field and plating two more runners. Leasher hit the third double in as many at-bats, bringing home the final run of the inning.
Windsor/Stew-Stras was all smiles, ignoring the frigid March air to the tune of a 16-0 lead after two innings. Even more impressive, all seven runs of the second were scored with two outs on the board.
”Both of us won regionals last year and now you’re putting us together, it’s going to be scary when we have some back-to-back hits like that,” Monbrum said. “Seven runs with two outs, that’s good.”
Just as impressive as the Stew-Stras offense was the pitching of Jones. Only six batters were needed in innings three and four, as the sophomore had maintained a perfect game after four frames. The performance was met with much praise from the Blue Devils’ skipper.
”I wasn’t sure if he’d be our fourth or fifth pitcher,” Monbrum said. “He came in and threw a good game, he may be our number two, I don’t know. He looked good on the mound.”
After Jones retired his twelfth consecutive batter, Windsor/Stew-Stras crossed the 20-run threshold with six runs in the bottom of the fourth. Allen hit in two more of his five RBIs and Theis knocked in another for good measure as the Blue Devils built a monumental lead.
With a perfect game on the line, Jones would have to settle for a combined no hitter. Sophomore Dylan Ohnesorge took over the reins in the bottom of inning five, striking out one and walking one batter. Jones finished with seven strikeouts and allowed no walks.
”We could have potentially left him in and thrown a perfect game,” Monbrum said, “but we’ve got to see guys throw. I’m not worried about a perfect game on a Saturday like this.”
Windsor/Stew-Stras played nearly perfect in any case. Helmuth and Leasher finished with two RBIs, Fulk had four, and both Allen and Theis drove in five en route to a 16-hit, 22-0 game.
”Theis is just locked in,” Monbrum said. “He’s just walking or hitting solid line drives. Hayden is hitting the ball well, there’s just a lot of positives. We had 16 hits.”
The Blue Devils provided plenty of fireworks in game two for an encore. The Blue Devils opened up a 1-0 lead after one inning, tacking on 10 more in the final two frames to finish with an 11-0 victory. Windsor/Stew-Stras had seven hits in the second game, with Theis, Warner and Ben Helton knocking in a run each, and Ohnesorge plating two.
Helton also got the start on the mound, pitching four shutout innings with five strikeouts and just two hits allowed. The weekend sweep improved Windsor/Strew-Stras’ record to 3-1 on the year, and the Blue Devils return to action on Tuesday at Pana.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at email@example.com.
Game 1 R H E
Martinsville 0 0 0 0 0 x x - 0 0 1
Windsor/Stew-Stras 9 7 0 6 x x x - 22 16 0
Windsor/Stew-Stras: Allen (3 1B, 5 RBI); Cole (2B); Theis (2 1B, 2 2B, 5 RBI); Fulk (1B, 2B, 4 RBI); Leasher (1B, 2B, 2 RBI); Smith (2 RBI); Helmuth (2B, 2 RBI).
Game 2 R H
Martinsville 0 0 0 0 0 x x - 0 2
Windsor/Stew-Stras 1 0 6 4 x x x - 11 7
Martinsville: Elliott (2-2).
Windsor/Stew-Stras: Deremiah (1-2); White (RBI); Theis (RBI); Warner (RBI); Ohnesorge (2 RBI); Kramer (2 RBI); Helton (RBI); Tilford (1-3).