June 19th, 2024

Monarchs pitcher Boutkan keeps Bucks off balance in complete game shutout

By Ryan McCracken on June 22, 2018.

NEWS PHOTO RYAN MCCRACKEN
Medicine Hat Moose Monarchs pitcher Ethan Boutkan (left) celebrates with catcher Theryn Berndt after securing a complete game shutout with an 8-0 victory over the Bozeman Bucks to kick off Thursday's AA American Legion Baseball doubleheader at Athletic Park.


rmccracken@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNMcCracken

Ethan Boutkan was dialed in Thursday at Athletic Park.

The Medicine Hat Moose Monarchs pitcher held the Bozeman Bucks to just five hits in a complete game shutout while batting in a pair to open his team’s AA American Legion Baseball doubleheader with an 8-0 victory.

Boutkan kept the Bucks off-balance despite working with a limited repertoire — pounding the zone almost exclusively with the fastball before working in his slider through the later innings to lock up the victory.

“He actually only threw two sliders through the first four innings and then got through the order two-and-a-half times before he went back to the slider. That’s what kind of gave him the push through seven,” said Monarchs assistant coach Adam Moser, whose squad closed out the doubleheader with a 7-1 loss to sit at 7-12 on the season.

Boutkan says his focus was on getting the Bucks to swing the bat and trusting his defence to clean up the rest.

“It was pretty hot out there so I just wanted to work my fastball, throw strikes and get in some quick innings,” said Boutkan. “I couldn’t have done it without (my teammates). I only had one strikeout so they worked hard out there.”

The Monarchs came through with 10 hits — including three in a four-run third inning — to give Boutkan plenty of run support while preventing Bozeman from getting taking any free bases with an errorless outing on the diamond.

“We did it all. We played great defence, we didn’t make any errors, we got a great start and good quality at-bats against a team like that. I mean, these are the days you dream of,” said Moser, adding the defence has come a long way from the start of the season. “It took a while for us to things rolling and get a little bit more consistent, but it’s been a slow upgrade to this point. Now we’re just hoping we can level out with stead, consistent defence. But credit to these kids because they put in the work to get to this point.”

Monarchs lead-off hitter Cavan Kolody went 2-for-4 with 1 RBI while third baseman Zach Stark was 2-for-3 with a triple and shortstop Tory Nelson matched Boutkan’s efforts at the dish at 1-for-3 with 2 RBI. Second baseman Will Sharpe rounded out the scoring with an RBI single in the sixth.

Bucks pitcher Michael Fruend took the loss after allowing eight runs on 10 hits and four walks through six innings of work. Shortstop Zander Petrich led Bozeman’s offence with a 2-for-3 outing.

The Monarchs return to Athletic Park Saturday to host the Helena Senators in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.

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