CAMANCHE — The Camanche Indians stayed in the thick of things in the Big East Conference baseball race Thursday, cruising to a 9-1 win over the Andrew Hawks.

Camanche, 7-13 overall, improved to 7-2 in the Big East. The Indians are a game behind Northeast.

“In the conference we’re making the plays and getting the timely hits,” Camanche coach Darryl Cochran said. “We just have to take care of our business and not worry about what anybody else does.”

The Indians rode Tyler Cozzolino’s strong pitching. Cozzolino fired a five-hitter, striking out eight.

“Tyler had another steady performance,” Cochran said. “With him on the mound we’re pretty confident.”

Andrew (1-12 overall, 0-7 Big East) scored first, pushing a run across in the top of the first inning as Corey Manders led off with a single and stole second.

With Camanche expecting a bunt Indians third baseman Jace Stratton charged down the third-base line. With third base open Manders stole. Camanche catcher Tim Wisor then threw to third, but no one was there to take the throw and Manders scored as the throw went into left field.

The Indians pulled even with a run in the first before taking control with a five-run second inning.

In the bottom of the first Cozzolino drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Justin Hayes then singled to center and stole second before Tony Foster walked to load the bases.

With one out Stratton drew another walk to force in a run. Andrew starting pitcher Curtis Roeder escaped further damage by striking out Sam Drennen and getting Aaron Johnson to flyout, leaving the bases loaded.

Mitch Paysen drew a leadoff walk to start the Indians’ half of the second inning. He stole second before scoring when Cozzolino’s ground ball to shortstop turned into two errors, one on Hawks shortstop Montana Deppe and the other on Manders, the center fielder.

Courtesy runner Mickey Cochran scored from second on Hayes’ single to left. Hayes went to second on a wild pitch. With two outs Wisor was hit by a pitch. Courtesy runner Nate Metzger and Hayes then moved to second and third on another wild pitch.

Hayes scored and Wisor moved to third when Stratton reached on an error. Drennen then walked to load the bases. Johnson followed with a two-run single to left.

“We were making contact, and we took advantage of some of their mistakes,” coach Cochran said.

Camanche built up to a 9-1 advantage with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth.

Stratton opened the bottom of the fourth with an infield hit. He stole second and moved to third on Johnson’s one-out single to left. Johnson stole second before No. 9 hitter Zach Mussman delivered a two-out, two-run single to left-center.

Hayes drew a leadoff walk to start the Indians’ fifth. He scored all the way from first when Foster’s single to left was misplayed for an error.

Camanche had a chance for more in the inning, as Wisor was again hit by a pitch and Drennen singled to load the bases with one out. But, the Indians could not tack on any more runs.

Camanche is back in action today when it hosts defending state champion Wilton today at 5 p.m.

Score by Innings

Andrew 100 000 0 — 1 5 4

Camanche 150 210 x — 9 10 3

Curtis Roeder, Montana Deppe (3), J.C. Cornelius (6) and Andrew Kilburg. Tyler Cozzolino and Tim Wisor.

Two or more hits—Andrew, Roeder; Camanche, Justin Hayes, Aaron Johnson. 2B—Andrew, Roeder; Camanche, Cozzolino. RBI—Camanche, Hayes, Jace Stratton, Johnson 2, Zach Mussman 2.

Records—Andrew 1-12, 0-7 Big East Conference; Camanche 7-13, 7-2. Next—Wilton at Camanche, today.

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