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Brunner shuts down Triad, Easton Water moves to sectional final

Kyle Brunner fired a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to power Bellefontaine Easton Water past Triad 7-0 in an Acme sectional semifinal Friday at Blue Jacket Park.

BelleTriad

Bellefontaine’s Kyle Brunner throws a pitch during Friday night’s Acme sectional semifinal game against Triad at Blue Jacket Park. Brunner fired a three-hit shutout in Bellefontaine’s 7-0 win. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

Easton Water (17-3) now moves into the sectional title game at 1 p.m. Sunday against either Triad or Graham. The latter two teams battle at noon today in the loser’s bracket final.

Brunner was sharp throughout the game, throwing 68 of his 103 pitches for strikes. Triad had trouble catching up to his strong fastball.

“Kyle is one of those pitchers that if he can locate his fastball, he is going to be tough to beat,” said Easton Water head coach Don Hensley. “He was able to move it around well and he elevated it at times, and they had trouble getting to it.”

Bellefontaine’s offense did its part, collecting eight hits and taking advantage of nine Triad walks.

After scoring once in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI single by Connor Burton, Bellefontaine struck for four runs in the second inning to grab a five-run cushion.

Burton and Drake Roebuck each had RBI singles to fuel Easton Water’s four-run second frame.

“That inning was kind of indicative of our season,” said Hensley. “We were able to move some guys around and manufacture some runs.

“Getting that five-run lead early in the game was huge for us. Playing at home in front of a big crowd, we wanted to come out and impose our will on them, and we were able to do that.”

Bellefontaine went on to add a run in the fifth and another in the sixth.

Roebuck was 3-4 and Burton was 2-3 with three RBI for Easton Water. Jordan Baughman added a double in the win.

“Drake has worked hard all summer on his swing and it has paid off for him,” said Hensley. “He is swinging the bat well right now.

“Connor is one of the younger kids on the team. He has been batting down in the order, but we moved him up to the two hole because he does a good job putting the ball in play. He came up with some big hits for us tonight.”

Cory Fenton doubled to lead Triad at the plate.

With the victory, Bellefontaine guaranteed itself a berth in next week’s district tournament — as the top two teams in the sectional tournament get tickets to the next round of competition.

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