Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Samuel Dutton delivers a pitch during the Warriors’ 12-0 victory over Gaston last Tuesday (Mar. 19). Dutton struck out 14 of 15 batters on the way to a perfect game. (Mike Goodson/Messenger)
By Mike Goodson, Sports Correspondent
To say the Westbrook Christian baseball team was picture-perfect in its game against Gaston last Tuesday (Mar. 19) would be an understatement.
In a perfect game effort, Warrior ace Samuel Dutton struck out 14 of the 15 Bulldog batters he faced as Westbrook cruised to a five-inning 12-0 victory in Class 2A, Area 10 action at GHS.
The final out was recorded when William Humphrey hit an 0-2 pitch to third base.
Dutton, who committed to LSU last fall, took the approach of concentrating on one batter at a time as he worked his way through the Bulldog lineup.
“I just try to stay focused while I am on the mound,” he said. “I try to do daily what I need to do. It’s been a good season so far.”
Westbrook (7-4, 1-0) jumped to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back.
The big hit was a double by Greyson Robinson with the bases loaded off of Gaston starter Malikah Warren. Isaac James and Carson Wiggins also drove in runs during the inning.
“Samuel Dutton is going compete,” said Westbrook head coach Matt Kennedy. “He works hard and gets the job done. It’s a joy to watch him pitch and I’m proud of the way our team responds when he’s out there.”
The Warriors added a run in the second and three more in both the fourth and fifth innings for the 12-run final.
Dutton helped his cause with a double and two runs scored. Also at the plate for Westbrook, Andrew Dutton had a hit and three runs scored; Joseph Gilchrist had a hit, an RBI and a run scored; and Jon Ross Morgan had two runs scored.
“We just couldn’t catch up to [Dutton],” said Gaston head coach Jesse Pruitt. We stayed behind him all night.”
Pruitt did see some bright spots in the way his team played.
“We’re not where we would like to be but we’re getting there. Our attitude is good and we’re getting better.”
Dutton went 5-2-1 last season with a 1.21 earned run average and 72 strikeouts while helpjng the Warriors post a 27-9 record, win the area championship and qualify for a berth in the Class 2A state quarterfinals. He pitched a no-hitter against Vincent in the first round of the playoffs.