"Our hitting has kept us in ball games," head coach Brandon Young said of his team that averages .460 at the plate with five hitters batting .500 or better. "But now that our pitching is coming around, it's all just kind of come together.
"We felt like we could pull it off with Swinney on the mound and everything just fell into place."
As hot as the Santo bats were, pitching truly was the story of the Albany win, as it has been in each of the past four games.
Earning the start and the win, Swinney was in complete control of the game, lasting 6 2/3 innings and allowing five runs (four earned), on four hits and five walks. He also struck out 12 before Keith Chalker was brought in for the final out of the game – a 13th team strikeout.
Swinney improved to 5-0 on the season for the best record on the Wildcats' pitching staff.
Now, with designs on a first-place tie, the 'Cats have their eyes on two more wins with games against the Graford Jackrabbits and Baird Bears looming this week.
Santo will travel to Graford today to face a Jackrabbits team that has shown improvement, earning their second district win in a 7-6 victory over Eula, Friday.
After playing their local rivals, Santo will close out their regular season at home against a Bears team that has proven dangerous this year – although Santo beat Baird 10-3 in their previous meeting this season.
As nice as a potential district championship sounds, Young said the primary focus is to get one win to clinch a playoff berth first.
“We've got to win one of the next two," he said. "We're going to try and keep rolling into the playoffs. We'll just try to stay focused like each game is any other game and everything else will fall into place."