Jake Lee was on top of his game, pitching a complete game shutout while striking out five and allowing just one hit.
The Whitewater baseball team put the prize of the region 4-AAAAA on notice after another strong outing against the McIntosh Chiefs with a 3-0 victory on Monday evening.
"It was an excellent game--all positives," said Whitewater coach Mark Jones, whose team improved to 15-5 overall and 12-3 in the region. "Our pitching and defense has turned us around and we're going to ride it (hopefully) to a region championship."
The mainstay for the Wildcats was the pitching of Jake Lee who recorded a complete game shutout with five strikeouts. Lee retired 20 of the 24 batters he faced and only allowed a single hit.
"Jake pitched another good ballgame," said Jones, whose team jumped to the number one spot in the region ahead of McIntosh after the win. "This his third or fourth outing in a row where he has shut down some quality region opponents."
Offensively, Whitewater leaned on Matt Rhodes who finished 2 for 4 with an RBI double in the top of the third that put his team on top. Caleb Norton (1-for-3) also chipped in with a RBI and a run scored.
Unlike in their first meeting this season (a 9-1 victory for McIntosh), Whitewater dominated McIntosh on both sides of the ball for much of the game. Defensively, the Wildcats only allowed one ball to touch the outfield (a single by Andrew Johnson in the bottom of the third) and offensively they got the best of McIntosh ace Tre Hudak.
"We didn't hit the ball as well as we've been hitting hit but credit McIntosh's pitching. They really switched it up on us," said Jones.
Despite the loss, McIntosh (14-4, 11-3) still would hold the tiebreaker in the region by virtue of total runs scored by both teams in the series (9-4).
"We had real good defensive play tonight with balls hit in the gap. We've worked on it and they have responded well," Jones added. "We gained a lot of confidence a week or so ago by beating the four teams in the region that were ahead of us and this (win) just gives us more confidence and hopefully we can keep it going."
Looking ahead, both teams have five region games remaining, beginning with McIntosh traveling to Creekside and Whitewater hosting Mt. Zion on Wednesday.
Starr's Mill is right behind in a near three-way tie for first. McIntosh will play at the Panthers on Wednesday, April 17. Whitewater will play at the Panthers on Wednesday, April 24.