Ryan French made his first varsity start a memorable one.
The Washington sophomore right-hander waded through Martinsburg’s lineup with economical ease as his complete-game effort showed him allowing only three hits and no earned runs.
And only one walk.
Washington used a five-run inning against Bulldog starter Curtie Miller and a four-run inning against relievers Jacob Vanorsdale and Mitchell Henson to supply French with enough runs to drop the Bulldogs, 11-3, last Friday at Bruce Davidson Field.
French had yielded only one hit through four innings. He had a 7-0 lead because Hunter Weaver, Seth Campbell, Bryan Bayliss, Dorian Hetzel, and Colin Gustines all had hits in a five-run second inning and Gustines and Ryan Mumaw landed hits in a two-run fourth.
It was three Washington errors in the sixth that cost French his shutout but not his complete game. Or any earned runs. He fanned two and all three hits he allowed were singles.
From the first baserunner the Patriots had, they stole bases almost at will — even against the left-handed Miller. Washington was successful on all five stolen base attempts against the three Bulldog pitchers and catcher Ryan Decker.
The Bulldogs committed a series of errors to aid the Patriot cause.
Only four of Washington’s runs were earned, but because it only had two strikeouts in the 35 batters that faced Bulldog pitching, the continual asking of the Martinsburg defense to make plays gave the Patriots opportunities to get runs.
French threw strikes. And he prevailed in his pitching debut.