SPRINGFIELD -- There wasn't anything fancy about Springfield's District 9-2A win over Doyle on Wednesday, and as far as Bulldogs coach Michael Rutland is concerned, that's just fine.
Springfield scored single runs in every inning but the 2nd, and Matt Kreutzer hurled a complete-game four-hitter with 7 strikeouts as the Bulldogs picked up a 5-0 win.
"The most important thing right now is to start playing well at the end of the season," Rutland said. "You know, you'd rather play well at the end. We kind of went through a lull there for a couple weeks, but I like the way they responded and the way they're playing right now."
Meanwhile, Doyle coach Tim Beatty was complimentary of Kreutzer's effort.
"We weren't out there ready to swing the bats, and any time you've got a guy throwing two pitches for strikes and competing as he did, you know it's going to be a long night," Beatty said. "Man, we just didn't put up much of a fight."
Springfield got rolling in the bottom of the 1st as Ty Moran connected on a two-out double to center, and Kreuter followed with an RBI single past second for a 1-0 lead before Micah Crittenden grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
The Bulldogs had runners on second and third with one out in the 2nd after a single by Zach Wild and a double by Brennan Vittorio, but Doyle starter Colten Newsom struck out Kendall Stanga looking and got Keith McKigney to ground out to second to end it.
Doyle missed a chance to score in the top of the 3rd after Trenton Mizell and Cole Mack got consecutive two-out singles and Tyson Stewart was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But Kreutzer got Newsom to pop out to short to end the inning.
"That one time we had bases loaded with a guy who we want at the plate and just didn't get it done," Beatty said. "It's high school baseball, and that happens. We keep thinking, 'Hey, we're going to get the big hit' and just never found it."
Springfield added to the lead in the bottom of the 3rd as Travis Freeman reached on a throwing error at shortstop and stole second. Moran struck out swinging and was thrown out at first after a dropped third strike, allowing Freeman to move to third. Kreutzer's grounder to third produced the second out of the inning, but Freeman scored for a 2-0 lead.
"I think we finally just got our heads in the game, had more energy and we're just confident in our playing now," said Kreutzer, who was 1-for-4 with 3 RBIs. "We just stayed consistent on the bats and played good in the field."
Crittenden followed with a single past first, but Britt Harris struck out looking to end the inning.
After Kreutzer retired the Tigers in order in the top of the 4th, the Bulldogs added to their lead in the bottom of the inning.
Wild struck out swinging but reached first on a dropped third strike, and Vittorio's sacrifice bunt moved him to second. Kendall Stanga was hit by a pitch, and McKigney's grounder to the pitcher moved the runners to second and third before Wild scored on a passed ball for a 3-0 lead.
"We told our guys all game after every time they came back in from the field 'Find a way to score -- let's just try to score every single inning and keep the pressure on them,'" Rutland said.
Consecutive walks to Freeman and Moran loaded the bases, but Kreutzer's grounder was fielded by Doyle catcher Mack, who threw to first to end the inning.
Springfield added another run in the 5th after Crittenden led off with a single and scored with two outs when Vittorio grounded to second and beat the throw for a 4-0 lead.
Doyle's Stewart reached on an error to lead off the 6th and stole second with two outs, but Cade Watts struck out looking to end the inning.
McKigney led off the bottom of the 6th with a single, and Beatty pulled Newsom for Ty Mixon. One out later, Moran legged out a single and McKigney went to third before scoring when Kreutzer hit into a fielder's choice at short for a 5-0 lead.
Newsom gave up seven hits, five runs, walked two and struck out four in 5 innings to get the loss.
"Both pitchers competed," Beatty said. "Our guy (Newsom), that's what he does. He throws strikes, and we count on him throwing strikes, and that's what he showed (Wednesday), and they made some key hits. We never pitched bad and never got into a bad inning. They just scrapped one every inning, and when you can scrap one every inning, usually it's going to be in their favor."
Kreutzer walked Easton Wolfe to lead off the top of the 7th but struck out the next three batters to seal the win.
SPRINGFIELD 5, DOYLE 0
Doyle 000 000 0 -- 0 4 2
Springfield 101 111 x -- 5 8 1
Colten Newsom, Ty Mixon (6) and Cole Mack. Matt Kreutzer and Ty Moran. W -- Kreutzer. L -- Newsom. 2B: Springfield -- Ty Moran, Kendall Stanga. Records: Doyle 10-17, 2-5 District 9-2A; Springfield 10-11, 2-5. Up next: Doyle at St. Thomas Aquinas, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday; Albany at Springfield, 11 a.m. Saturday.