WINFIELD - The roller coaster season for Winfield was back on an uptick Thursday evening.
Junior left-hander Mason Dillon fired a complete game and scattered seven hits, leading the Generals to a 5-1 victory over Putnam County rival Hurricane (21-4), the No. 1 team in the Gazette's Class AAA state ratings. Winfield plated four runs in the fourth with only two balls leaving the infield.
Dillon (6-1) struck out five and walked just one in working his sixth complete game, and his third in seven calendar days. He pitched six innings in a 3-1 loss at Nitro Friday and seven innings in a 6-0 win over Spring Valley Monday.
"It's always been that way,'' Dillon said. "I've always had a pretty strong arm and been able to come back out and throw in just a couple days.''
Generals coach Will Isaacs said Dillon's frequent mound miles are all part of a plan.
"What we're trying to do as we come down to sectional time,'' Isaacs said, "is to get our two, three main pitchers in a rotation so that we can just pitch them maybe twice in the week of the sectional. We've been doing that the last couple weeks, working them on two days' rest. That way they can get acclimated to that so that they might be able to do it in the sectional.''
Dillon wriggled out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the top of the fifth by inducing Trey Dawson to ground out to first baseman L.D. McBrayer. Dillon allowed an RBI single to Tate Brock in the sixth, but Brock was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
"My arm started to slow down on me since the fourth,'' Dillon said, "so I had to throw strikes and throw to contact, and then make the plays. [Isaacs] tells me every game to go as long as I can.''
The win was the latest up in a season full of highs and lows for Winfield (13-10), which has lost five one-run games - four to ranked teams - and also mercy-ruled opponents like Nitro and Huntington.
"One thing about our kids,'' Isaacs said, "is that they've remained enthusiastic and hustled on and off the field and played hard. They enjoy playing, even with those ups and downs, and those are tough sometimes. They keep each other up and keep pushing each other.''