“The kid has a great future in baseball.”
That’s how Burris head coach Noah Wheeler described senior pitcher Zach Peters, whose complete game propelled the Owls over Muncie Central, 3-1, at First Merchants Ballpark Tuesday.
“We came out here, and we finally executed some of the things we’ve been working on in practice,” Wheeler said. “It was an awesome win for us against a rival school, and we couldn’t be feeling better.”
Through seven innings pitched, Peters allowed six hits and one run while striking out the side in the top of the seventh to capitalize on his team’s victory. As one of the Owls’ aces, Wheeler described Peters as a quiet but powerful leader both while in the clubhouse and on the field.
“I think a lot of our younger guys feed off of his energy and how good he is,” Wheeler said. “They want to strive to be just as good, and it builds our whole team up.”
Being one of the Owls seven seniors, Peters said he considers himself to play a prominent role on his team both as a hitter and pitcher. However, he takes a simple approach to his leadership.
“I just show [the underclassmen] what to do, and I like to lead by example,” Peters said.
Tuesday’s game was the second of a back-to-back after defeating Anderson Prep Academy, 9-7, on Monday. Burris struggled early this season, dropping its first three games. However, the team has taken three of its past four to settle for a 3-4 record three weeks into the season.
Although the Owls came out victorious Tuesday, senior pitcher Zach Garrett was a force to be reckoned with for the Bearcats through all six innings. The Owls broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third as senior center fielder Andrew Combs drove in a run to give Burris the 1-0 edge.
The sixth inning was the turning point of the game. The Bearcats tied the game in the top of the sixth with a double from sophomore shortstop Ryan Johnson. However, after a Muncie Central mound conference with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Peters and senior catcher Lukas Butler scored to give Burris a two-run lead heading into the seventh.
Peters’ 1-2-3 inning in the top of the seventh ultimately gave Burris the 3-1 win.
“Throwing strikes on the mound really gets everyone else motivated to do well,” Peters said.
Wheeler said Tuesday’s game was a meaningful experience for his team, not only because of the win, but also the opportunity to play at First Merchants Ballpark.
“The players love it,” Wheeler said. “We get to come out here, and we feel like a college baseball team. We love any chance we have out here.”