DAVENPORT - If anyone can appreciate the strike zone as a batter, it's a pitcher.
Davenport West's Thomas Dorton used that to his advantage in his first at-bat with the bases loaded in the first inning Friday.
Dorton fought back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk for the Falcons' first run and helped sparked West to four more runs in the inning. It helped West to an eventual 5-2 victory over Linn-Mar in a Class 4A first-round substate game at the Falcons' complex.
West (26-6) advances to host Bettendorf in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Monday.
"I just had to foul (pitches) off and just try and get on base," Dorton said of his first at-bat. "The (umpire) had a pretty tight strike zone so I kind of knew where the balls and strikes were.
"I kind of knew it was coming. It's 10 times better as a pitcher because you know where everything is at."
Linn-Mar starting pitcher Ryan Wyant got the first two outs of the inning but the Falcons strung together three straight singles to load the bases when Dorton came up. He took a strike, then fouled a pitch off. Then Wyant suddenly could not find the zone.
After Dorton forced a run in with his walk, teammate Kyle Verdon took the same selective approah. Wyant walked him on five pitches to give West a 2-0 lead.
"We got (Wyant) frustrated and that's the point," Dorton said.
The Falcons then got some help from shaky defense by the Lions (16-22).
Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 22:34