By JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — Larned High pitcher Evan Skelton continues to string together a once-in-a-lifetime streak.
Skelton pitched his fourth consecutive shutout with a one-hitter to lead the Indian baseball team past Smoky Valley 10-0 and 15-2 Thursday.
Skelton (4-0) has yielded no runs with 13 strikeouts in 19 innings. Larned has won the four games Skelton has started 49-0. Landon Erway (4-0) threw solidly in the second game for an easy sweep.
Skelton struck out three batters. Timothy Ruble singled for the Vikings’ base hit. Larned shortstop Isiah Perez turned a double play.
“Evan is gaining confidence from his starts. He settled into the role like a No. 1 starter,” said Larned coach Chad Erway. Skelton has mixed a knuckleball and curveball with his fastball.
“Evan is hitting his spots,” Erway said. “He’s mixed in a good knuckleball that serves as his changeup that’s been real effective for him.”
The Indians (11-1) lead Halstead (10-3) in the Central Kansas League heading to Tuesday’s games at Lyons, which plays six games in five days. The Indians own the top record in the May 19 Hoisington baseball regional that features Thomas More (12-4), Russell (8-4) and Hoisington (5-9).
The Indians are batting .430 as a team and continue to excel at the plate with 25 runs and 26 hits in the twin bill.
“The guys have a disciplined approach and are staying within their game plan,” Erway said. “We’ve been hitting the ball really well. We plan to continue that type of focus.”
in the opener, Colton Gladow led the Indians with four RBIs. Perez and Mason Schartz each drove in two runs. Gladow singled home Perez and Johnathon Herter in a three-run second inning. Gage Skelton’s groundout scored Gladow.
Gladow drove in Tyler Stelter and Perez in a four-run third inning. Schartz doubled home Gladow and Gage Skelton.
Perez tripled home Erway and Stelter in a three-run fourth inning. Herter singled home Perez.
In the nightcap, Erway had four RBIs and Evan Skelton, Herter and Gage Skelton each drove in two runs. Gage Skelton, Schartz and Erway had RBIs in a five-run second inning.
Herter and Erway keyed a 10-run third inning with two-run hits.
LARNED 10, SMOKY VALLEY 0
Smoky Valley 000 00 — 0 1 3
Larned 034 3x — 10 15 3
Weldy and Lackey. Skelton and Stelter. W—Skelton (4-0). L—Weldy. 2B—L, Schartz 2, Perez. 3B—L, Perez.
LARNED 15, SMOKY VALLEY 2
Smoky Valley 110 00 — 2 6 6
Larned 05(10) 0x — 15 11 1
Ruble, Goodell (3), Able (4) and Heitschmidt. Erway, Perez (5) and Stelter. W—Erway (4-0). L—Ruble. 2B—SV, Ruble.
Larned 11-1 11-1
Halstead 10-3 10-3
Pratt 11-5 11-7
Lyons 6-3 6-5
Nickerson 7-5 8-6
Kingman 9-7 10-8
Hoisington 5-9 5-9
Smoky Valley 3-9 3-11
Haven 2-10 2-12
Hillsboro 1-13 2-14
Halstead at Wichita Independent
Hoisington at Nickerson
Larned at Lyons