In recent weeks, hitting has been contagious for the El Dorado High summer baseball team.
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Against Pro Players in the first game of a doubleheader at Escobar Field Tuesday. El Dorado banged out 18 hits, including eight in one inning, en route to a 17-7 victory. The game was called after five innings because of the mercy rule.
In four of the five innings, El Dorado (22-4) had three or more hits. Alex Pereira and Zach Culp doubled in the bottom of the first inning, followed with a single from Matt Smith that led to a 3-0 lead.
El Dorado increased its advantage to 6-0 in the second inning thanks to four hits. Smith (4-for-4, 3 RBIs) highlighted the frame with a triple to left field that drove in Pereira (2-for-3, double) and Louis Merlo, both of whom singled before Smith’s big bang.
“We’ve had guys swinging the bats well,” El Dorado head coach Rusty McDonald said. “We’ve been on a roll, scoring a lot. Our confidence is high.”
But in the top of the third inning, Pro Players cranked out four hits including a triple and double, which trimmed El Dorado’s lead to 6-4.
“They, too, hit the ball real well,” said McDonald of the Pro Players’ bats.
El Dorado responded in the bottom of the third by sending 12 batters to the plate that resulted in eight runs off eight hits for a 14-4 lead. Owen MacKendrick (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) had two of those hits. Nathaniel Erskine (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) and Aaron Farney (2-for-3) doubled to account for extra-base hits. Pereira, Smith, Culp and Adam Washabaugh singled.
In the fifth inning, El Dorado and Pro Players combined for six runs off seven hits. Pro Players had four hits that led to cutting El Dorado’s lead to 14-7.
Smith had one of three hits in El Dorado’s final at-bat, along with contributions from MacKendrick and Erskine, both of whom singled. Add in a walk to Washabaugh, and Chris Pederson reaching on a fielder’s choice, and El Dorado accounted for its final three runs to end the game early.
Results of El Dorado’s second game, which it also won, is in Roundup.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.