By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Before a slew of games this weekend at Cumberland County High School, Southwestern hosted Monticello in a 48th District contest on Thursday evening at Warrior Stadium.
It was a scoring spree for the Warriors, as they plated 18 runs in an five-inning, 18-2 victory over the Monticello Trojans. With the 16-run victory over their district counterpart, Alex Eaton’s squad upped their overall record to 17-4 and moved their district mark to perfect 5-0.
Eaton was proud of the way his team came to the ballpark ready to take care of business, which is exactly the Warriors did.
“We showed up tonight and did what we were supposed to do,” began Eaton, who is in his third season as the Southwestern skipper. “Our mindset was right and was exactly where it needed to be. We got a lot of young guys in, so it was a pretty good night for us.”
Southwestern struck first in this one, plating three of their 18 runs in the bottom half of the first inning. Two of three runs in the frame came when senior Logan Starnes (error) and freshman Trevor Howard (walk) scored on a double from freshman Lucas Turpin.
After the Trojans scored a lone run in the top of the second inning, the Warriors tallied four runs in the bottom of the frame to grab a 7-1 advantage. Southwestern, who sent all nine players to the plate in the frame, had RBI singles from senior Zack Profitt and Turpin.
The Warriors continued to roll in this one, scoring a trio of runs in the third frame to make the score, 10-1, in favor of Southwestern. In the frame, Southwestern was paced by three hits from junior Trevor Stacey, Trevor Howard, and Starnes.
Eaton and company exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to grab an 18-1 lead over visiting Monticello. Junior Jesse Meece, freshman Wade Purvis, freshman Vincent Boils, and junior Wyatt Burton, each tallied a hit in the frame.
Leading the way for the Warriors at the plate was Stacey and Turpin, who both had two hits each in the contest. Ten different Southwestern players had at least one hit in the four innings that they went to the plate.
Turpin finished with a game-high three RBI’s, while Purvis chimed in with two. Counting both Turpin and Purvis, eight Southwestern players tallied at least one RBI.
Brandon Pruitt, an eighth-grader, earned the victory in his first varsity start. In three innings of work, Pruitt had seven strikeouts. Junior Christian Strack gave up zero hits and had four strikeouts in two innings on the hill.
“Brandon Pruitt did a great job on the mound,” praised Eaton. “We wanted to keep his pitch count around 35 pitches, so we can use him this weekend. He did great tonight, considering it was the first varsity start he’s had. Christian Strack came in and was able to finish it out for us - he did exactly what needed to be done.”
Southwestern will take their two-game winning streak in to a tournament this weekend at Cumberland County High School. Eaton is hoping his team is around long enough to win the championship.
“We’ve got a tournament this weekend in Burkesville, and we’re looking to go down there and sweep it,” concluded the Southwestern head coach. “Our goal is to go down there and win it, so hopefully it works out for us.”
MONT - 0 1 0 0 1 - 2 2 6
SW - 3 4 3 8 X - 18 11 1
WP - Pruitt (SW)
LP - Smith (MONT)
2B - Turpin, Boils (SW)
RBI - Turpin 3, Purvis 2, Burton, Profitt, Meece, Shadoan, Trevor Howard, Starnes (SW)