April 17, 2013 - Sophomore pitcher Shane Armstorng started his game against Northwood University one week before he finished it. But the wait was well worth it.
Armstrong turned in one of the bets performances of his young career, throwing a two-hit shutout in Hillsdale's 3-0 win over the Timberwolves Wednesday afternoon in Midland. Hillsdale completed the doubleheader sweep with a 3-1 victory in the nightcap. The wins improve the Chargers to 15-18 overall and 8-12 in the GLIAC.
The 15 wins earned by the Chargers this season meets or exceeds their win total from each of the past four seasons.
The first game of Wednesday's twinbill resumed a suspended contest from April 10, contested in Hillsdale. The game resumed with the Chargers in front 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. As it turned out, that was all the run support Armstrong would need, as he was dialed in from his spot on the mound.
Amrstrong struck out three, walked three and allowed just two hits in the complete-game shutout. He retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced in the game, and lowered his season earned-run average from 4.80 to 4.00 in the victory.
Freshman Connor Bartlett led the offense by going 3-for-3 with 2 RBI. His first run batted in occured a week ago, in the first inning. In his first at bat on the second day of the game, he singled home senior Mike Vanchieri to give Hillsdale a 3-0 lead.
Freshman Zak Northrup scored two runs for Hillsdale in the game one win.
In the nightcap, it was freshman Lucas Hamelink's turn to pitch a gem, as he earned the victory by going 5 1/3 innings without a walk allowed, and two strikeouts. Sophomore Dan Pochmara came in and earned his fourth save of the season - one shy of the single-season school record - by going 1 2/3 innings.
Freshman Geordy Smith broke a scoreless tie in the third inning with a single up the middle to put Hillsdale up 1-0. Smith later teamed up with Vanchieri on a well-executed double steal play in the fifth to increase Hillsdale's lead to 2-0. Senior Brad Hayden scored a valuable insurance run in the sixth after a groundout by Northrup.
Hillsdale heads to Ohio this weekend for a three-game series versus the University of Findlay.