EL DORADO — Mercy me! That was the call at the end of the fifth inning at Union Mine High Saturday morning, as the El Dorado Junior Legion baseball squad dismantled visiting Roseville, 11-0, in a mercy-rule game.
El Dorado excelled due to the stellar pitching of Ian Boyle, who allowed only one hit, no earned runs and struck out five.
“(Ian) was definitely on today,” said El Dorado assistant coach Todd Hinrichs. “We had no errors on defense and that is what wins ballgames — good pitching and good defense.”
El Dorado quickly dispatched Roseville in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Zack Culp earned a base on balls and advanced to third on a Matt Gould single. Bryson Campbell hit a shallow fly ball to center that popped off the fielder’s glove for a single and RBI.
With two on base, Matt Smith stepped to the plate and tucked a dinger right inside the right field pole to put El Dorado up 4-0. Roseville’s pitcher then walked three El Dorado batters, Troy Zeier, Zach Bartlme and Tim Salemi to load the bases. With two outs Culp walked and Gould was hit by a pitch, allowing two consecutive walk-right-in runs for a 6-0 lead. By the end of the bottom of the first inning, the Roseville starting pitcher threw 46 pitches, walked six and six earned runs crossed the plate.
Boyle struck out two of three Roseville batters in the top of the second frame, but not without a scare as he walked the first two batters. A grounder recorded the third out for El Dorado.
“He was letting some balls go a bit high but he found his way,” said Hinrichs of Boyle.
El Dorado was close to adding to its lead in the second when a Boyle double and a Zeier single put runners at the corners with one out. Bartlme popped what seemed to be a sure sacrifice fly, but an incredible throw from Roseville’s centerfielder nailed Boyle at the plate and ended the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Merlo doubled and Culp singled on the first pitch he saw to place runners at first and third. Next, Gould walked after a 10-pitch battle to load the bases. A passed ball to Campbell allowed all three runners to advance a base, with Merlo sliding into home to up El Dorado’s lead to 7-0.
Campbell knocked a base hit to score another El Dorado run and sent Roseville’s second pitcher of the day off the mound. Campbell wasn’t done having fun yet, as he stole second and then third on a bad throw from the pitcher to second, all the while Gould was able to reach home. A sacrifice fly from Smith allowed Campbell to complete his journey home and bumped El Dorado’s advantage to 10-0.
El Dorado added its last run in the fifth when Culp singled to send Zeier home from third base.
“We were just trying to get guys to make contact and they did, as well as smart base running,” Hinrichs said.