Highlander boys break out bats, pound Pioneers
WAYNE -- Huntington High's Hunter Smith just wanted to make contact.
Smith did, and then some, as he deposited a 3-2 pitch from Wayne's Adkins over the fence in left for a three-run home run to highlight a four-run first inning.
The Highlanders added six runs in the second inning, as 11 batters came to the plate, and they went on to blank the Pioneers, 12-0, on Thursday at Pioneer Field. It was five-inning, mercy rule contest.
"I was trying to put a bat on the ball," Smith said. "They (teammates) said I smashed it. When I rounded first I looked up, saw the ump and he waved keep going."
The homer was the first of Smith's career. The ball made its way back to Pat, his dad, and Smith said it'll make a nice keepsake.
"That's one I'll always remember," said Smith, who finished with four RBI.
Jordan Turner added two hits and drove in three runs for the Highlanders (8-3).
"It felt great. We came out strong and kept going," Smith said. "Monday (8-6 win over Winfield) the bats were quiet after the first. We tried to keep it rolling tonight."
In the big second inning, the Highlanders also took advantage of three errors by the Pioneers (5-4).
Highlanders coach Danny Harbert went to his bench early and often as the run total climbed.
"Great team effort. Everybody did something positive," Harbert said. "We were able to get the pitchers some work."
Stephen Holland worked the first inning, Ben Gibson the second, Riley Aulick the third and Isaiah Settle the final two.
Harbert said Thursday is the kind of game Smith needed.
"It's good for his self confidence," Harbert said. "When you hit in the four spot, you expect that. He's put in a lot of hard work and it's starting to pay off."
Huntington High is back in action Saturday at Ballard High in Louisville. The Highlanders will meet Ballard (5-4) in the first game of a doubleheader and Avon (Ind.) in the second.
"We want to play the best talent," Harbert said. "It helps get us ready for the sectional."
The Highlanders start next week with a home game Tuesday against Spring Valley and a trip to Cabell Midland on Wednesday.
Wayne's back in action Saturday at home. Fairland visits for a twinbill starting at 1 p.m.
HUNTINGTON 460 20 -- 12 10 0
WAYNE 000 00 -- 0 3 3
Holland, Gibson (2), Aulick (3), Settle (4) and Shaver, Vancamp (3), Fulks (4); Adkins, Pancake (1), Maynard (2), Cassidy 4 and Cassidy, Perry (2).
Hitting: (H) Mundy 2-2, 2B, 3B, RBI; Smith HR, 4 RBI; Gibson RBI, Turner 2-2, 3 RBI; Vancamp RBI.