By Justin Whitaker
LIZTON — It only took two pitches and Tri-West junior Austin Lynn had the Bruins on the board.
Lynn’s home run on Tri-West’s first at-bat set the stage for an offensive explosion of nine runs in the first inning as the Bruins beat rival Danville 15-4 in five innings in the first round of the Hendricks County Tournament.
“It was fabulous, we couldn’t have asked for a better way for a junior to get it started, especially against Danville,” Tri-West coach Ryan Oppy said. “It set the tone for our whole team right from the start.”
Tri-West scored its runs in single inning bursts. It was nine in the first inning and six in the fourth inning.
“We just got our pitch and hit it hard. We were patient in the strike count,” Oppy said. “It kind of surprised me but I’m expecting these guys to hit. I knew we were going to have a good offense.”
After Lynn’s home run, two runners were walked and then three singles were hit in a row. Senior Dustin Burks got on base, senior Tyler Carter brought in senior Matt Pope, junior Dallas Wolfe scored senior Levi Baumer and then Grant Spratt was walked to score Burks. It was 4-0 before the Warriors got an out.
Sophomore Quentin Garland brought in Carter to bat through the lineup. Lynn then scored Wolfe and Garland off a single, Pope hit a double to bring in Lynn and Baumer singled to bring in Pope before a strikeout from the second Danville pitcher, Austin Allen, ended the inning.
“Give them credit, they came out swinging their bats,” Danville coach Brady Armstrong said. “Our pitchers got behind the count and could not get the off speed over and had to put the fastball in there. Just did not have command of the off speed or the fastball.”
Danville scored off of a wild pitch in the top of the second inning before adding three more runs in the third.
Senior Turner Duckett hit a double bouncing to deep centerfield to score sophomore Tyler Bradshaw. The Warriors then took advantage of a wild pitch again and scored two runners in the third.
In order for Danville to be successful, Armstrong said his team needs to use its speed to their advantage.
“We’ve got to get guys on base. Our team speed is above average,” he said. “We like to hit, run and bunt, play some small ball and move runners and that’s what we were doing, putting pressure with our speed.”
Wolke, Garland and Pope brought in a combined four runners with singles in the fourth innings. Pope had 3 RBI on the evening, including two in the fourth inning to help push the Tri-West advantage to over 10 runs.
In the fifth place county tournament game at 10 a.m. today at Avon, Danville plays the Orioles.
“We’ll find out what we’re made out of tomorrow because we are playing a team that on paper is much better in Avon,” Armstrong said.
With the winning team advancing to play for the county championship, Tri-West takes on Cascade at 1 p.m today at Avon.
Oppy likes what the Bruins are bringing back for pitching in today’s game and looks forward to the tournament continuing forward.
“I think this team can get to the championship and I think we could get to the championship and hold our own. Obviously our goal would be to win the Hendricks County Tournament.”