FAIRBORN — Wayne senior pitcher James Harness pitched a four hit shutout Tuesday to lead the Warriors to a 3-0 victory over division rival Northmont in the Reds Futures game sponsored by Skyline Chili at Wright State University.
Harness struck out 9, scattered 4 hits with 2 walks and hit one batter in 7 innings. His counterpart, Northmont pitcher Jacob Monnin, pitched 6 and 1/3 innings and got tagged for 8 hits, with a pair of walks and struck out 4.
For his stellar pitching performance Harness earned the MSA Architects Most Valuable Player award.
“James Harness is a stud. We basically have eight new varsity players and James,” said Wayne Coach Joe Yount. ”They are going to grow up. They’ve taken some on the chin so far, but when James is on the mound they raise their level of play. We kicked a few today, but James makes those go away. I’m very, very happy he is on our side today.”
In the top of the first inning Harness struck out the first two batters he faced but got tagged for a triple to deep left center by Northmont center fielder Brandt Cronebach. Harness ended the threat by striking out Tyler Liddy.
The Thunderbolts had another early opportunity in the top of the second when Cameron Reaman reached base on an error by shortstop Layne Riley. Landon Hill singled to advance Reaman to third but Thomas Walsh got thrown out by Harness on a bunt attempt.
Wayne got two runs in the bottom of the third on a single by James Ganion followed by a RBI triple by Bryce Haney in his first at bat of the season. Designated hitter Nick Chaffman singled to score Haney to put Wayne up 2-0.
The Warriors tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Dylan Donchez got a bunt single, stole second and scored on a bunt single by Ganion. A wild throw to first by Monnin on Ganion’s bunt allowed Donchez to score all the way from second base.
Leading the Wayne attack was Chaffman who went 2 for 4 with one RBI. Harness, Dylan Borns and Layne Riley went 1 for 3. Bryce Haney went 1 for 3 with a RBI triple. Donchez went 1 for 2 and Ganion went 1 for 1 with two walks.
With the victory Wayne improved to 1-2 in division play and to 3-4 overall. The loss to the Warriors snapped Northmont’s five game winning streak as the Thunderbolts dropped to 0-2 in division play and 6-2 overall.
“Harness threw a hell of a game,” said Northmont Coach Chuck Harlow. “We put the ball in play. We had a lot of good swings at him but he did a good job. When he got in a jam he got out of it because he is a good pitcher. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other guy and tell him he did a heck of a job, and he did. We only got four hits and struck out nine times. I thought we had some good two strike at bats but he shut us down.”
NMT 000 000 0 – 0 4 1
WAY 002 100 x – 3 7 1
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind