The Wolverines were all over Patriot starter Kevin Harrity from the opening pitch, and his defense didn't do much to help him, as Deer Valley jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Harrity threw 66 pitches in his two innings of work, issued five bases-on-balls and unleashed four wild pitches in yielding Deer Valley a 10-0 lead after two.
The blowout provided an excellent chance for Deer Valley head coach Dennis Luquet to get some of his little-used subs off the bench and allow them to build some confidence as the team begins league play.
"A game like this allows some of my guys who don't get much of a chance to play to get in there and get some swings and develop a little bit of confidence," said Luquet. "I don't know if it really helps my starters any - the pitching's just too slow and they're not really going to get anything out of that."
Deer Valley starting pitcher Kyle Lawton simply overpowered the Patriots, allowing just one hit over three innings of work. Lawton, who plans to attend the University of San Francisco come fall and play baseball for the Dons, threw a first-pitch strike to nine of the 10 batters he faced, recording one strikeout and walking none.
Photos by Richard Wisdom
Deer Valley shortstop Tanner Renshaw lays out for a shallow fly ball in Tuesday's 18-0 blowout of Heritage.
Austin Wiggins came on in relief of Lawton to begin the home half of the fourth and was every bit as impressive as the starter, retiring the side in order in both the fourth and fifth innings and recording three strikeouts.
The Wolverine offense was paced by seniors Simion Maldonado and Dylan Rath and junior centerfielder Jared Denham, each of whom drove in a pair of runs and combined to bat 5-of-7 for the game, with five runs scored.
Just about everyone on the Deer Valley squad contributed to the blowout: 11 players recorded hits and 15 reached base.
By the end of the fifth inning, Deer Valley had extended its lead to 18-0, roughing up four different Heritage hurlers and asserting its dominance in every phase of the game.
Second baseman Sam Ryner broke up the Wolverine no-hitter in the third inning with a sharp single into left field. Heritage wouldn't record another hit until third baseman Riley Kathain slapped a single of his own into left field in the sixth inning. Brian Bascom also singled in the sixth for the Patriots, as did Cole Wells in the seventh.
Eric Morgan pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the Wolverines, allowing three hits and walking one. Although Morgan struggled with location, he did manage three strikeouts to protect the shutout.
"You have to play the game within the game when the score gets out of hand like that," said Heritage head coach Gene Bower after the loss. "You have to try to play the game inning by inning and just try to beat the other team that inning and keep doing the things that you need to do to be successful in the long run."