Burton leads New Diana past Elysian Fields, 7-1
March 17, 2017 at 10:58 p.m.
DIANA — When Jacob Burton is in his rhythm, New Diana head coach Bernie Martinez simply described his junior standout with one word: tough.
Another thing the head coach noted about Burton that's improved in his game is his ability to get back into that pace quickly.
Burton did just that on Friday night.
Burton struck out 11, tossing a seven-inning one-hitter and the Eagle bats added the rest in a 7-1 win over Elysian Fields in District 16-3A action.
The win — the Eagles' eighth-straight — pushes New Diana's season mark to 11-3, including a 3-0 start to 16-3A action.
"Jacob is a tempo guy and when he's in his rhythm, he's tough," Martinez said. "He can get out of it and his challenge is getting back to that tempo and he's improved so much in that regard.
"I saw him throw a year ago and, today, he's a completely different pitcher. He's polished. His release point is consistent. It's going to be exciting to watch him continue to develop."
Burton worked around five hit batters in the outing and one infield single from Elysian Fields to lead off the third inning. The Yellow Jackets (6-6, 1-2) scored in the top of the seventh on a New Diana error.
His night wasn't limited to the pitching mound either.
Burton and senior Tristan Swain combined for five of the Eagles' seven hits with each recording a pair of RBIs and a triple. Burton finished 3-for-3 and Landon Dorman picked up two RBIs for the Eagles, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Elysian Fields loaded the bases in the top of the first after and error and two hit batters before the Eagles ended the early threat with a 6-4-3 double play. Burton legged out an infield single out of the leadoff spot but was left stranded for a scoreless first.
Brayden Rosales reached on an error in the third and scored when Burton dropped a popup to shallow right. Swain and Dorman followed suite with RBI base knocks and the Eagles built a 4-0 lead off a second Jacket error.
Cody Stanley led off the New Diana fifth inning with a double to left and scored when Burton crushed a triple to right center. Once again, Swain and Dorman followed. Swain legged out an RBI triple to deep center field and scored on a sac fly from Dorman for a 7-0 lead.
"We faced some challenges today with their lefty but we stayed at it and broke through and that's all you can ask for offensively," Martinez said. "We got some good hits today and that's been the pleasing thing in this run. People are a little surprised by our offense for whatever reason. These guys know how to swing the bats."
Meanwhile, Burton picked up his first strikeout of the evening after a leadoff single from Cole Ellis in the third inning. He struck out the side around a hit batter and a walk in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively. He added his 11th and final punchout on three pitches in the top of the seventh.
Off to a 3-0 start in a competitive league, New Diana visits rival Ore City on Tuesday before hosting White Oak on Friday. The Roughnecks dropped a 7-4 decision to Beckville elsewhere on Tuesday. Both teams are now 2-1.
"We were playing Harleton last week and we go into the fourth inning and both pitchers had no hitters going," Martinez said. "That gave them a taste of what this district is going to be like.
"We have a goal and we control our own destiny, one pitch, one game at a time."
(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h)