By THE HERALD-WHIG
Brandon Ley admits there was an adjustment period in making the leap to pitching at the NCAA Division II level.
Tuesday, the former Quincy Notre Dame all-stater made the adjustment look smooth.
In his first career start, Ley limited Illinois-Springfield to one run and six hits over six innings and earned his first collegiate victory as Quincy University completed a sweep of a Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader with an 8-1 victory at QU-Stadium.
The Hawks won the first game 4-0.
"We feel like we should win every game," Ley said after the Hawks, who are in first place in the GLVC West Division, won their fifth straight game and 14th in their last 17 games. "We're confident. Every guy knows his role and what he brings to the team. The confidence is high, and the chemistry is great."
The defense is solid, too. Ley, a sophomore right-hander, got eight groundouts, six flyouts and four strikeouts, thanks in large part to his two-seam fastball.
"It got me all those ground balls," Ley said.
The defense did the rest.
"They were all rock solid," Ley said of his fielders. "Having a good defense behind you makes you comfortable."
A good offense gives you a margin of error.
After the teams traded runs in the first inning, QU (15-6, 10-2 GLVC) took the lead for good in the third as Nick Tindall and Drake Austin delivered back-to-back RBI singles. Two more runs came across in the fourth thanks to a ground out and a wild pitch, while Tindall had a two-run single in the sixth and Ryan Richardson delivered an RBI double.
Tindall finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs, while Austin went 3 for 4. Cole Judy went 2 for 4 with a run scored in his first start at third base.
In the opener, Nick Stroud gave the Hawks a sterling start, allowing four hits over six scoreless innings. Jake Wehde and Matt Fishman combined to allow one hit and strike out three over three innings of relief.
Mitchell Broughton gave QU a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI single, while the Hawks tacked on three insurance runs in the ninth. Larry Sartin drove in a run with an infield single, while Kenny May cracked a two-run double.
Broughton went 3 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI, while May went 2 for 4.