Prep baseball: Herbert Hoover routs Poca
The Herbert Hoover baseball team averaged a shade more than nine runs per game in its first eight outings of the season.
On Monday evening the Huskies continued their torrid early season offensive streak in a 12-1, five-inning win over visiting Poca (3-3).
Hoover (8-1) pounded out 11 hits in the contest, plating five runs in both the first and third innings, before junior outfielder Shaun Dotson ended the contest with a walk off two-run homer to left-center field.
The win helped the Huskies bounce back from a loss to Ripley in their last outing, a game in which Hoover collected 13 hits in the loss.
“That’s one thing about being inside a lot … we’ve been able to get a couple extra swings in,” said Hoover coach Brian Young of the hot start at the plate. “More than a couple I guess, but we’re really seeing the ball right now.
“Tonight we came up with some timely hits,” he added. “That’s one thing against Ripley, we couldn’t come up with the hit when we had runners in scoring position and tonight we did that.”
Hoover started quickly against Poca sophomore starter Brett Watts, who allowed the first four batters (one hit, three walks) to reach base before giving way to junior Skylar Vealey.
In all, the first six Hoover batters reached base safely.
The Huskies’ Matt Justice knocked in a pair of runs with a double in the inning, while Tristan Fields, Tommy Parrish and Dotson knocked in single runs.
“They’re a good hitting team,” said Poca coach Mike Hutchinson. “They’ve got a lot of guys that are three, four year starters and a lot leadership.
“They’re the defending state champions and they only lost three guys, I think. Most of their key guys are back. It’s always a tough game when we come up here and generally things don’t go well when you have to take a mound visit and make a pitching change before you get the first out.”
While the Huskies offense produced, so, too, did Fields, who struck out eight batters in five innings to pick up the win.
Fields, who didn’t throw all winter while trying return to form after suffering an arm injury last football season, allowed just three hits, while issuing four walks.
“I just came out throwing strikes,” Fields said. “I’ve been working on that all offseason, staying in the weight room and trying to locate the ball where I want, to start off ahead.
“I didn’t do that as well as I wanted tonight, but I got outs and the defense played great behind me. When the defense is playing good, you can just throw strikes.”
Young was pleased with the hard-throwing senior’s performance.
“He did real well tonight,” Young said. “I was pleased with what we saw. He came out and threw a lot of strikes and got ahead in the count. That’s the most pitches he’s thrown in the offseason and he really did well tonight.
“I was pleased with his command of all three pitches,” he said. “He threw his change-up for a strike, and he threw his curveball for a strike. When he’s on like that, he’s tough to hit.”
Vealey pitched into the third inning before running into trouble and handing the ball over to Bubba Hill.
Hoover sent 10 batters to the plate in the third inning to extend the lead to 10-0, highlighted by a two-run single by Cody Bowen and RBI singles from Hunter White and Scooter Farmer.
Poca got on the board in the fourth when Jake Payne led the inning off with homer to left field.
But Hoover answered in the fifth when Fields led off the inning with a single, followed by Dotson’s game winning homer.