Nick Dlugosz goes the distance to ground Avon Eagles

AVON — Vermilion’s Nick Dlugosz has waited nearly a year to win a game on the mound.

The Sailors’ starter, who was shut down early last season and needed Tommy John surgery, got his first win in over a year as he threw a complete game to beat Avon 4-1 on Monday at All Pro Freight Stadium in West Shore Conference play.

Dlugosz allowed just five hits, two each in the sixth and seventh innings, walked four and struck out six hitters to get his first win of the season.

“It feels great to get a win, finally and able to go a whole game and pitch well with minor soreness in my arm,” Dlugosz said.

Dlugosz kept the Eagles (5-10, 3-3) in check with his powerful fastball, and his defense made routine plays all throughout the game to help out their pitcher.

“Nick’s got pretty good velocity, pretty good location,” Vermilion coach Jeff Keck said. “He can spot his fastball and he’s able to throw his little slider and split-finger that he throws. He’s able to keep guys off-balance. Nick’s a good pitcher.

“We really missed him last year. We didn’t have him a majority of last year because of that Tommy John surgery. Once the weather warms up, I think we can get complete games out of him. That’s obviously going to make us a better baseball team. That gives us a pretty good number one and two (pitchers) with Garrett Koutsopoulos. So I just feel real good about his performance.”

Vermilion (8-6, 3-2) got all of its runs with two outs in the top of the third inning off of Avon starter Matt Tomko, who went seven full innings himself.

The Sailors opened the inning with three straight singles, but Tomko retired the next two hitters. Kyle Nader drew a bases-loaded walk to score Caleb Waller, and Alec Adams was hit by a pitch which scored Mitch Peterson and gave the Sailors a 2-0 lead. Ryan Miller, who went 2-for-3 on Monday, capped off the inning with a two-run single to left for a 4-0 Sailors lead.

“We were able to generate some runs that inning and had a couple of big hits, and with guys on base,” Keck said. “That’s what we’ve been missing. We’ve been hitting pretty well, but we haven’t been able to get a big hit with guys on base in key situations. In that inning, we were able to do it. Fortunately, that was enough to win today.”

Avon’s only run came in the bottom of the seventh as Shaun Traine pinch-hit for Bradford Dill, and grounded out to score Ian Long. The Eagles had the bases loaded with two outs, but a Matt Wentz ground out ended the threat and the game.

Avon stranded eight runners through seven innings as Dlugosz held the Eagles hitless with runners in scoring position.

“He threw a lot of strikes and he threw a lot of fastballs,” Avon coach Frank DeSmit said. “He controlled the game, controlled the tempo of the game. Our guys were sort of along for the ride today.”

Despite loading the bases in the seventh, Dlugosz had confidence in his defense, and it paid off as he finished the game.

“I knew I had a solid defense behind me and I can trust those guys,” he said. “If I got it over the plate and they put it in play, I know I can trust them to get the out.”

The weather played a factor in the game as a strong wind blowing in from left field knocked down a lot of fly balls, keeping both teams without an extra-base hit in the game.

Both teams are back in action on Wednesday as Vermilion travels to North Ridgeville and Avon hosts Midview.

Vermilion 4, Avon 1

West Shore Conference

Vermilion (8-6, 3-2) 004 000 0 — 4 8 1

Avon (5-10, 3-3) 000 000 1 — 1 5 1

TWO HITS OR MORE — Vermilion: Caleb Waller, Ryan Miller, Nick Dlugosz; WP — Dlugosz (1-0); LP — Matt Tomko (4-2).

@Bielik_Tim

Last Updated: 4/22/2013 10:39:32 PM EST

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