RED OAK – The only way Mesquite Horn would play Monday’s season opening baseball game with Red Oak was if the game time was moved up before the colder weather moved in.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, they only sped up the inevitable.
A pair of Hawk pitchers allowed just two base runners as the offense scored 10 runs on seven hits and Red Oak picked up a 10-0 win in five innings to start the 2010 season.
“It couldn’t really go any better than the way it did for us as far as the weather being cold. We knew that our pitchers would come out and throw strikes we just didn’t know really what to expect with the weather if it would be a factor,” coach Heath Autrey said.
Starting pitcher Travis Wallis faced the minimum number of batters in his three innings of work with three strikeouts to get the win.
The senior got a boost from his offensive teammates as Justin McCormick drew a leadoff walk to start the first inning. After being bunted, Cody Alsup smacked an RBI single for a 1-0 lead.
That margin would hold until the bottom half of the third inning when the Hawk bats came to life. A leadoff walk to Wes Dorough was followed by back-to-back singles from Alsup and Chris Mota. A Wallis groundout to first scored the second run of the inning as Tanner Milke dug in at the plate.
The senior blasted a triple to the right field wall that plated another run as the Hawks (1-0) ran out to a 4-0 lead. Things got worse for Horn as back-to-back errors and a walk led to two more runs and kept the inning alive. Red Oak continued to capitalize as Robert Elles lifted an RBI double to the outfield. Alsup tacked on his second RBI of the night on his third single to make it a 8-0 lead.
The scoring effort came to a head as a tricky hop and bad throw at second base allowed two more runs to score for the 10-0 lead.
“That’s what we’ve been working for all off-season, all fall and we’ve been looking forward to this first game,” Alsup said. “We just wanted to come out with a big bang and get everything going.”
Up by a sizable margin, Autrey went to Brent Fletcher for the final two innings of work. After the right hander walked the first two he faced, he induced a pop-up to second followed by five straight strikeouts to end the game.
For the night, Alsup led the onslaught going 3-for-3 with 2 RBI as Mota drew a pair of walks while going 1-for-1 with an RBI.
While Autrey was pleased with the win, he was more excited to see how his team reacted to live action after an up and down practice schedule due to the weather.
“They had some guys that were throwing some pretty good breaking balls in there and just seeing somebody else pitching aside our own squad, I was happy with the way we swung the bats,” Autrey said. “We’ve got some guys that need to swing a little better but I was happy overall.”
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