It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
EAGLE POINT — Eagle Point head coach Adam Randall knows that the Eagles will need more production out of their batting lineup eventually. In the meantime, it's nice to know that the team's pitching and defense has the ability to pick up the slack.
James Dixon allowed only one run in an 81-pitch complete-game effort and Bubba Skogseth drew a bases-loaded walk to score the go-ahead run in the sixth as the Eagles improved to 2-0 with a 4-1 victory over Yreka on Wednesday at The Yard.
Dixon struck out eight without a walk and the Eagle Point defense, which has committed only one error in the team's first two games, backed him up to help the Eagles overcome an early 1-0 hole.
"Our kids have been very resilient to this point," Randall said. "The pitching and the defense is what it's going to take to win close games and playoff games. The offense will come eventually, but it's the third most important ingredient."
After Yreka went ahead on Dustin Jochim's RBI single in the second, the Eagles loaded the bases after tying the game in the sixth. Skogseth worked the count full against Yreka relief pitcher Gabe Durney before earning the tie-breaking RBI on ball four. The next batter, sophomore cleanup hitter Nate Bramer, then fell behind 1-2 before lacing a two-run single.
"Bramer fouled off two breaking pitches then got a fastball mistake and hammered it," Randall said.
Yreka starter Michael Elfgen pitched 52/3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits.
Bramer had two of the Eagles' three hits.
Yreka 010 000 0 — 1 5 2
Eagle Point 000 004 x — 4 3 1
Elfgen, Durney (6) and Andreas; Dixon and Hangaard. W — Dixon (1-0). L — Durney.
PHOENIX 19, SPRINGFIELD 7, 5 inn. — At Phoenix, Phoenix unleashed 19 hits to claim its season opener by the 10-run mercy rule at Colver Field after going 0-19 last season.
Jordan Pond was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and four runs scored, and Aaron Hutchinson, Calvin Decker and Travis Treadway added three hits apiece as the Pirates hammered nine extra-base hits in the five-inning rout.
Hutchinson had three doubles and two RBIs, Decker a triple and three RBIs and Treadway a double and three RBIs for Phoenix, which snapped a 20-game losing streak dating back to 2011. One of Pond's hits was a solo home run.
Springfield 050 11 — 7 7 2
Phoenix 531 (10)x — 19 20 3
Thomas, Dunn (3), Dougherty (4) and Guy; Kentner and McCreadie. W — Kentner (1-0). L — Thomas. 2B — P: Reynoso, Hutchinson 3, Treadway. 3B — P: Pond, McCreadie, Decker. HR — P: Pond.
PHOENIX 11, SPRINGFIELD 0, 6 Inn. — At Springfield, Meranda Zanni had a big day both at the plate and in the circle to power Phoenix in its season opener.
Zanni, a senior, struck out six Springfield batters in the first three innings without allowing a hit to pick up the victory, and also went 3-for-4 at the plate with three doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Amanda Skaff and Bailee Tally added two hits apiece for the Pirates, with Skaff scoring two runs and Tally stealing three bases.
Makayla Scoggins belted a triple for Phoenix.
Phoenix 423 002 — 11 13 1
Springfield 000 000 — 0 2 6
Zanni, D. Tally (4) and Hamilton; Chadwell and Green. W — Zanni (1-0). L — Chadwell. 2B — P: Zanni 3, B. Tally, Flynn. 3B — P: Scoggins.