BUCKLEY -- Connor Gross had his second start on the mound for the Buckley Dutchmasters in game one of Sunday's scheduled doubleheader against Game Seven Legacy.
Over the past couple of years, Gross pitched for the Champaign Dream before the team was voted out of the Eastern Illinois Baseball League last March.
“They’re not in the league anymore, so I decided to switch it up," Gross said. “I like (the Dutchmasters) a lot. It’s a nice family atmosphere. There are competitive games each game. I like the guys I play with. I can’t ask for much more.”
Gross tossed a two-hit shutout to lead Buckley to a 9-0 victory over Legacy, striking out 13 batters and walking none through all nine innings.
“I can’t complain," Gross said. "I just went out there, didn’t try to do too much, tried to throw strikes and keep my team in the game.”
Only two batters reached scoring position for the Legacy.
William Van Duyne hit a two-out double after the last two Game Seven at-bats resulted in strikeouts in the top of the second inning. Van Duyne was left stranded as Gross struck out David Throw for the third out.
In the top of the third inning, Bikai hit a one-out single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch and Daniel Mendoza was hit by a pitch with two outs before Aron Hopp flied out to Buckley right-fielder Drew Schrodt.
Gross retired the Legacy's next 18 at-bats, a streak that included seven strikeouts.
“He had those guys off balance all day," Dutchmasters manager Ryne Scheiwe said. "When he’s out there throwing strikes, it’s easy.”
In the bottom of the first inning, the Dutchmasters (6-3) scored three runs to take a 3-0 lead.
Jake Stewart drew a leadoff walk before Josh Krumwiede singled to send Stewart home. With two outs, Nathan Walker drew another walk before Schrodt singled to left field to send Krumwiede and Walker across home plate.
“We put enough bats on the ball to get it done," Scheiwe said.
The Dutchmasters scored two more runs in the second inning.
Jay Eshleman and Jake Stewart each singled with one out before Evan Regez reached base on an error that resulted in Eshleman crossing home plate. After Krumwiede drew a walk, Stewart scored on a passed ball.
Buckley scored two runs each in the bottom of the fifth and eighth innings.
After Schrodt hit a leadoff single to left field to start the fifth, Jay Eshleman singled to right field to send him across home plate. Stewart drew a walk before Regez singled to send Eshleman home.
Trey Russell was hit by a pitch to lead off the ninth inning before Quinton Hatfill hit a two-out single to center field. After both baserunners advanced into scoring position via a balk, Tanner Russell then singled to center field to send both runners across home plate.
“It wasn’t quite a hitter’s day today, but we ran a little bit and put a little more pressure on them," Scheiwe said. "Overall, we did pretty well.”
Hatfill finished the game hitting 3-for-5 while Stewart hit 2-for-3, Regez and Schrodt each hit 2-for-4 and Eshleman hit 2-for-5.
Game two was postponed due to rain. It is now scheduled to be played at 2 p.m. next Saturday at High Desert Field in Lexington.
The Dutchmasters will play a twinbill against the Paxton Swedes -- whose doubleheader last Sunday against the Gifford-Flatville Giflats was also rained out after playing half an inning of game one-- at Memorial Field in Paxton at 1 p.m. the following Sunday.
“We’ve just got to have enough guys show up," Scheiwe said.
Buckley Dutchmasters 9, Game Seven Legacy 0
GSL 000 000 000 -- 0 2 1
BUCK 320 020 02x -- 9 13 0
W -- Connor Gross, 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 13 K, 0 BB. L -- Talkington, 5 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 K, 5 BB.
Game Seven (4-4) -- Van Duyne 1-3, 2B. Bikai 1-3.
Buckley (6-3) -- Jake Stewart 2-3, 2 R, 2 BB. Evan Regez 2-4, RBI. Josh Krumwiede 1-3, RBI, R. Trey Russell R. Nathan Walker R. Drew Schrodt 2-4, 2 RBIs, R. Quinton Hatfill 3-5, 2B, R. Tanner Russell 1-4, 2 RBIs. Jay Eshleman 2-5, RBI, 2 R.