PREP BASEBALL:JCC throttles AHS 13-2 in season openerADRIAN — Jackson County Central started off the baseball season and Trent Sukalski’s baseball coaching debut with a bang Thursday, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning en route to a 13-2 drubbing of Adrian.
ADRIAN — Jackson County Central started off the baseball season and Trent Sukalski’s baseball coaching debut with a bang Thursday, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning en route to a 13-2 drubbing of Adrian.
Nine Huskies went up to the plate in the top of the first and behind three walks and three hits took a 5-0 lead they would never relinquish.
“The guys have been working hard in practice and they are trying to learn and get better every day and I think that showed today,” Sukalski said. “We had good at bats, we didn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches, we were patient at the plate, we hit the pitches we should have hit and, for the most part, we threw strikes.
“If we can do all those things, we will be in pretty good shape. If we can throw strikes, I think we can be a pretty good ballclub.”
The five-run cushion was more than enough for JCC stating pitcher Dustin Pronk, who went five innings, giving up four hits and one walk, while striking out eight to get the win.
“I just had to throw strikes and those guys were playing ball behind me,” Pronk said. “At some points things got hectic, but they made plays behind me and I just had to throw strikes.
“We couldn’t have started off better, so we just need to keep it going.”
Three of the first four batters drew walks for the Huskies in the form of Kyle Luhmann, Taylor Christopher and Zach Copley. Back-to-back singles by Cooper Moore (3-for-4, three runs, four RBIs) and Brett Larson (2-for-4, run, two RBIs) emptied the bases to make it 3-0 JCC.
After a flyout, Moore scored on a wild pitch and Phil Buschena (1-for-2, two RBIs) added a two-out RBI-double to make it 5-0.
Adrian (0-2) responded with a run in the bottom half of the first behind a two-out single from Jake Diekmann (2-for-3, RBI), which scored Mitchell Sieve to cut the JCC lead to 5-1.
The Huskies got the run right back when Moore ripped a two-out single to score Larson and make it 6-1.
After the unearned run in the bottom of the first, Pronk pitched four scorless innings, retiring nine of the 12 batters he faced, while JCC built its lead.
In the top of fifth inning, Buschena added a sacrifice fly to score Copley and Moore scored on a wild throw to make it 8-1.
In the top of the seventh inning, JCC added five more runs to run away with the game. Moore drove in Copley and Larson drove in Moore with back-to-back singles. Luhmann knocked in Josh Thaemiltz with a single, Ben Stubbe scored on an error and Luhmann scored when Copley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to close the scoring for the Huskies.
“I was really prepared each time I went to bat and I wanted to be the team leader to get everyone started,” Moore said. “It worked out and it was nice to come out here and hit like we did as a team today.
“It builds a lot of confidence and builds a base for us as a team to strive and play like this every game.”
Adrian’s Ben Mulder scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little too late, as the Dragons fell to 0-2 on the season.
“We walked four of the first seven hitters and gave them a five-run lead,” Adrian coach Kevin Nowotny said. “They are AA and were A, so it’s tough to match with them.
“We’re young and trying to do better. We need to show up ready to play and we didn’t do that today.”
R H E
JCC 510 020 5 — 13 12 3
AHS 100 000 1 — 2 7 5
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.