Sutter's Cryer tosses gem against Wheatland
Huskies take game one of BVL series
Lucas Cryer is quickly figuring out how to be an ace pitcher at the varsity level.
Sutter High's junior right-hander could have easily fallen apart on Tuesday at Wheatland.
Cryer struck out the first batter he faced, hit the next guy, then his defense committed an error. A Nolan West single made things 1-0 Pirates in the first inning.
Cryer wasn't rattled, he just got better.
His offense delivered two runs in the top of the fifth and that's all the righty needed in a complete-game gem against the Pirates, leading the Huskies to a 2-1 victory in the opener of a three-game Butte View League series.
This was Cryer's fourth complete game in five starts this season. He struck out five, scattered five hits and didn't walk a batter on 91 pitches.
Cryer admitted he was having difficulty spotting his off-speed pitches, yet compensated with excellent command of his fastball.
"I was just trying to hit my spots and not let them get too good of a pitch to hit," Cryer said. "I just kept hoping my team would support me with hits and runs."
The score stayed 1-0 Wheatland through four innings before Sutter (10-2, 6-1) broke through in the top of the fifth.
Nathan Ahlers led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Mat Sanders. Quentin Hick singled to left field before Philip Robledo came through with a clutch RBI single up the middle to plate Ahlers.
Hick scored on a Jason Suleski sacrifice fly, giving Sutter the 2-1 advantage.
That inning was the only blemish for Wheatland starter Michael Woods.
The soft-tossing lefty dueled with Cryer for all seven innings and only surrendered five hits. Woods was extremely efficient, only needing 71 pitches for the complete-game effort.
First-year Wheatland coach Mike Morrill hopes his team can show the resiliency it did in a BVL series with Orland earlier this season.
The Pirates (8-7, 2-2) dropped the first game of that series and came back to win the next two.
"(Woods) came out and did everything we asked him to," Morrill said. "We still have two more ball games to play. This one's in the books, now you come back Thursday ready to swing the bat."
Wheatland and Sutter were co-champions of the BVL last season. Each team made impressive runs in the Northern Section postseason with the Huskies playing for the Division II championship; Wheatland made it to the D-II semifinals.
Sutter only has five seniors (three starters) on the 17-man roster in 2012. Sutter coach Mark Renfree said his young team hasn't reached its full potential just yet.
"They're getting there and they're getting better," Renfree said. "We work hard every day, it's a great group of kids that love to play the game of baseball."
Robledo and West were both 2 for 3 with an RBI for their respective squads. Haydon Liessmann doubled for Wheatland.
The two squads will resume their series on Thursday at Sutter's Arata Field with the finale scheduled for Friday back at Wheatland.
"Game one is big since they changed the (BVL schedule) format to three games per week," Renfree said. "We knew it was going to be good baseball and we expect it to be like this the next two games as well."
CONTACT Jimmy Graben at email@example.com or 749-4791. Find him on Facebook at advarsitysports or on Twitter at @ADjgraben