High school baseball: Nine-run uprising in first inning paves way for Fremont victory
PLAIN CITY — Nothing takes the pressure off a baseball team quite like putting together a nine-run uprising in the first inning.
Junior third baseman Tyler Clark's three-run double capped Fremont High's nine-run outburst in the first, and sophomore right-hander Cade Hadley pitched four strong innings as the Silver Wolves walloped traditional rival Weber 13-1 Friday in a Region 1 rout-shortened to 4 1/2 innings by the 10-run rule.
"That was awesome," Clark said of his bases-loaded drive in the bottom of the first. "It was good to go up 9-zero on 'em. I thought I really got ahold of that one and was hoping (Weber's outfielder) wasn't gonna catch that. I was stoked. ... It's good to have our bats come alive."
In all, Fremont sent 14 batters to the plate in the first, as senior DH Bridger Stratford and junior outfielder Brennan Roundy each smacked run-scoring singles and the Silver Wolves capitalized on two walks, three Weber errors and a wild pitch.
Clark's blast over the head of Weber center fielder Ty Erickson cleared the bases and made it 9-0, and this one was essentially over for all practical purposes.
"We've been popping things up a lot," said Fremont coach Garrett Clark. "We've been talking to the kids about hitting things solid, hitting line drives and making 'em have to move quicker than normal, and he hit that one square and made him move."
Hadley walked the first batter he faced, but junior shortstop Haze Hadley got him out of the inning with an unassisted double play. Then, after the Silver Wolves lit up the scoreboard for those nine first-inning runs, Cade Hadley gave up just two hits over the next three innings with three strikeouts and just one walk.
"Our pitcher, Cade Hadley, he's a sophomore and he's gonna be real good," Coach Clark said. "He just throws strikes. He's got a nice curveball and he just pounds the zone. So far in every outing, he's thrown 90 percent first-pitch strikes. He's a good one and he's gonna win us some games."
Friday's win came on the heels of a bizarre situation that occurred in Thursday's game at Pleasant View between the same two teams, won by Weber 4-1, when the game was suspended for about an hour when it was discovered that the home plate umpire was inebriated — school officials say his blood-alcohol level was reportedly .26, more than three times the legal limit — and a replacement umpire had to be dispatched to the game before it could be completed.
"It was just weird," Coach Clark said.
There was no such drama Friday, although Cade Hadley admitted to having some first-inning jitters. But his teammates went out and spotted him a nine-run lead, and it was all pretty much smooth sailing after that.
"That first inning was a little nerve-wracking, but once I settled in and just calmed down, it was good," he said. "That (9-0 lead) gave me a lot of confidence going back out there for the next inning.
"I was just trying to do my stuff. My curveball was on and was just trying to work in my fastball. (Junior catcher) Kade Skeen was doing a good job of calling my pitches. He does a good job of telling me where to throw it."
Fremont made it 11-0 in the second inning when three consecutive walks loaded the bases, and junior outfielder Brett Hancock was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Clark added his fourth RBI on a fielder's choice.
Weber got on the board in the third inning when senior second baseman Austin Jimenez tripled to center field and came home on a run-scoring groundout by sophomore outfielder Brevin Thon.
The Silver Wolves scored two more runs in the fourth inning as senior outfielder Dillon George led off with a double, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error. Hancock walked and scored his second run of the day on a passed ball.
That made it 13-1, and senior southpaw Decker Quintana came on to get the final three outs in the fifth.
"That's what we wanted," Clark said of the victory, which gave his team the three-game series, 2-1. "We talked to our kids about how we're just trying to win the series every time, so we talked to 'em about coming out strong, and they came out and did a great job.
"We've got great kids here; these are amazing kids, good athletes, good competitors. But we're young and pretty inexperienced; we had six juniors and a sophomore out there starting for us today."
Haze Hadley, Jestin Schickel, Brady Lundgreen, George and Hancock each scored two runs for the Silver Wolves.
"I've played up my whole life, so me and the juniors have a really good connection and we've played with each other our whole lives," Cole Hadley said. "We're excited. It's gonna be a good year."