Matz pitches Kimberly past Lightning, 5-0
APPLETON (WLUK) -- It didn't take long Monday to discover two things about the matchup between the Kimberly and Appleton North baseball teams.
First, because of a strong wind blowing in from right to left field, runs were going to be hard to come by because it would be difficult to drive a ball anywhere in the outfield.
Second, Davis Matz brought his "A" game.
That combination was too much for Appleton North to deal with as Matz threw a complete-game shutout, allowing one hit and striking out seven as the Papermakers beat the Lightning, 5-0.
"Just did a great job of getting ahead, kept the ball down for the most part and was real efficient with his pitches," Kimberly coach Ryan McGinnis said. "It was a pitcher's day to begin with but he did a good job with the pace of the game."
Matz threw 87 pitches and worked a quick pace, never really allowing Lightning batters to get comfortable. As well as he pitched, he didn't know how well we would perform until the game started.
"Normally, I feel good in the bullpen but you have to get on the mound to see how you're going to feel," Matz said.
Matz was too much for North and Kimberly's offense eventually did enough, plating single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, and then three more in the seventh. Kimberly scored one run when a fly ball seemingly destined for the outfield dropped in the infield as the wind knocked it down.
The win moves the Papermakers to 2-2, 2-1. It's early in the season as the weather and record indicates, but with Kimberly the expectations are always high.
The Papermakers have reached the state tournament seven times since 2007, including a state semifinal appearance last season. Can the Papermakers reach state again?
"The jury's still out," McGinnis said. "We have a good group of seniors that are working hard. We're starting to get rhythm and get an identity. I feel good about it. We'll compete, we just have tot continue to grow, learn and get better."
"We have a great group of guys," Matz said. "Obviously the goal is to win a state championship. We still have to worry about every game."
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay