SPEEDWAY — After a slow start, the Brownsburg baseball team hit its familiar stride in Saturday’s season opener against the host Sparkplugs.
Brownsburg trailed by two runs entering the fifth inning, but plated three in that frame and in the sixth for an 8-4 victory.
“I was definitely pleased with what we did with runners on base and in scoring position,” Brownsburg coach Eric Mattingly said. “We hit the ball really hard, and then they started dropping in for us toward the end.”
Brooks Bireley kicked off his first season as a varsity starter in style. With his team down 3-2, the junior lefty had a three-run home run in the fifth to put Brownsburg ahead for good. He also gunned down two attempted steals from his catcher's spot.
“This is his first season with us, and he has a great approach at the plate with some pop,” Mattingly said. “He has a good arm and should be solid for us behind the plate.”
Jacson McGowan had a good outing as well, with two singles, a sacrifice and two RBI.
“Hopefully he’s going to anchor our lineup all year,” Mattingly said. “He’s another kid with a real solid approach, and should have a lot more days like that ahead.”
Anthony Travelsted, Tyler Westrich, Cody Gill and Sam Comer also had hits for the Bulldogs.
Three pitchers took the mound for Brownsburg — Ty McCoy, Michael Klayer and Triston Polley. The trio gave up a combined five hits, six walks and two hit batters, but each showed an ability to get out of tough spots.
“They will start for us throughout the season, and they just got behind in the count a little bit,” Mattingly said. “We didn’t have a scrimmage, so it was their first game live-pitching. If they can get some more innings in and get ahead of the count, they’ll be fine.”