HUGHESVILLE — The Northwest baseball team opened the Kaysinger Conference portion of its schedule with an 11-1 win over Windsor on Tuesday in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.
Both teams put their first three batters on in the first inning, but while Windsor failed to score in the top of the inning, Northwest put four runs on the board in the bottom half.
Mustangs starting pitcher Trey Green walked the first two batters in the first inning and hit the third to load the bases. But an infield fly to third baseman Daniel Blaylock gave Northwest its first out. Green struck out the next batter looking and got the final out on a line drive to second baseman Alex Brockman.
“We got our first three guys on and then we didn’t have good approaches after that,” said Windsor coach Brad Forrest. “It kind of looked like we were looking for a walk instead of being aggressive and swinging the bat. If we could have pushed a couple across there, it could have set a different tone for the ballgame, but it is what it is.”
In the bottom of the inning, Windsor starter Trenton Johnson walked Truman Leicher and hit Brockman and Cortlen Austin. Green followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Leicher and Brockman scored on an error. Blaylock then doubled to center to score Austin and Ryan Rafferty. It was one of two extra-base hits in the game for Blaylock, the freshman third baseman.
“He’s gotten a lot more comfortable at the plate,” said Northwest coach Justin Wiskur. “We tried to reform his whole swing and he’s bought into it. He’s working his tail off in practice and in the cage, coming to extra hitting. You can see that he’s starting to get comfortable with it.”
Green got in a handful of other jams in the game, but often worked his way out of it with no runs scoring.
In the second inning, Chase Wetterow scored Windsor’s lone run when he stole third and the throw from the catcher sailed into left field. Windsor got a single from Johnson to follow that, but the left-hand pitching Green picked Johnson off at first and struck out Greyhounds leadoff hitter Luke Roberts to end the inning.
Green struck out the first two Windsor batters in the third before Quinten Rainner looped a two-out triple to left, but he was stranded on third when Green struck out Tanner Golden.
Jake Gilmore led off the fourth with a walk but a strikeout and two pop outs left him stranded there.
Mason Briggs drew a two-out walk in the fifth but was thrown out trying to reach third on a Rainner single.
In all, 10 Greyhounds reached base with three of them out on the basepaths and six stranded, as Green began to rely more on his defense and pitch to contact.
Green struck out six in the game, walking four and giving up four hits.
“He’s been battling a little bit of stomach soreness,” Wiskur said. “I think he was trying to change up his mechanics some. It’s very unlike Trey. He’s a slow starter usually in every game in the first inning, but not to that point. He battled. I thought he fought through a lot of adversity and showed some heart.”
Green also struck out five Windsor batters on the second trip through the order after allowing six to reach base the first time through.
“We were a little more aggressive with the bats the second time around the order, but we just didn’t play very well all around, offensively or defensively,” Forrest said.”We put the bat on the ball good a few times; we just couldn’t get things strung together.”
Northwest managed nine hits in the game and drew five walks from Johnson.
“We just took a better approach,” Wiskur said. “We’ve got 10 freshmen on this team. For the last month, it’s been a work in progress. Our approach at the plate was a lot better (Tuesday). We were seeing pitches, not fishing for stuff outside of the zone and swinging the bat looking to attack. We hadn’t done that our first two games. We collectively in our first two games had five or six hits.”
Northwest had the bases loaded in the second inning with two outs after Leicher singled, Austin was intentionally walked and Green drew a walk but Johnson got out of the jam with a strikeout. In the third inning, the Mustangs added a run when Leicher singled home Blaylock from third.
Northwest scored three more in the fourth when Chandler Crosswhite doubled home Austin and Green, and scored himself on a ground out.
The final three runs came in the bottom of the fifth. Leicher hit a two-out single, and Brockman reached on an error before Austin singled home Leicher. Green followed that with a single to score Brockman and Austin.
The Mustangs took advantage of four Windsor errors, two of which allowed players to reach third after hitting doubles.
“We’ve got to make the routine plays, and we’ve got to focus on making the routine plays,” Forrest said. “I think by our scorebook we gave up four earned runs out of the 11. You’ve got to make the routine plays.”
Northwest (4-0, 1-0 Kaysinger) will visit Stover today.
Windsor (3-2, 1-1 Kaysinger) will host La Monte on Thursday.