Apr. 21—Hunter Small went 3-for-3, drove in five runs and scored twice to help guide No. 13 Owensboro Catholic High School to a 12-1 five-inning baseball victory over visiting Daviess County on a frigid Tuesday afternoon at Chautauqua Park’s Independence Field.
Small got the scoring started with a two-RBI base hit in the second inning, which opened the floodgates for his team’s 10-hit performance. He added a solo home run over the left-center field wall to push the Aces ahead 7-0 in the third frame.
“It feels good,” the senior said of the win, “especially run-ruling these teams, getting out of here quick and saving arms. That’s the big thing. Our lineup, up and down, it doesn’t matter if someone’s struggling, because the rest will get it done.”
For Catholic (10-2, 2-0 in 9th District), however, there wasn’t much struggling Tuesday.
Six different players collected hits, with Sam McFarland and Finley Munsey finishing with two apiece. Jamison Wall belted a two-run home run in the Aces’ six-run second inning, and Luke Scales later drove in two batters with a double in Catholic’s five-run fourth.
McFarland, Munsey and Luke Evans plated two runs apiece, as well.
OCHS coach Derek Hibbs cited his players’ steady approach as a key to victory.
“The 7-hole (Small) and 8-hole (Wall) both hit bombs, that doesn’t happen a lot in high school,” said Hibbs, whose team won its sixth straight contest. “We’ve got pretty good confidence and power up and down.
“No matter who we’re facing, there’s no relaxing with our one-through-nine. It’s huge. It’s a luxury to have.”
McFarland picked up the pitching win for the Aces after giving up one hit with four strikeouts, three walks and no earned runs in five innings.
“Throwing strikes, that’s the biggest thing,” Hibbs said. “(Our pitchers) take advantage of our defense. We’ve just got baseball players. We’ve got a lot of guys — the same ones that hit are good on defense. Our pitchers know, ‘Hey, stay in the zone, those guys behind you are going to make plays.’ “
Daviess County (7-5, 1-1) scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning when Owen Payne drew a walk, advanced to second on a Brock Brubaker walk, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an error.
Decker Renfrow finished with a double for the Panthers’ only hit.
“We made some defensive miscues and some other mental errors,” said DC coach Austin Clay, whose team committed three errors. “A good team like that’s going to make you pay for your mistakes. Honestly, I didn’t think we played too bad — we didn’t play our best — but if you give a good team like that an inch, they’re going to take it.”
Both teams return to action Thursday for a pair of district tilts, with Catholic facing Owensboro at Shifley Park and Daviess County hosting Apollo.
DAVIESS COUNTY 000 01 — 1 1 3
OWENSBORO CATHOLIC 061 5x — 12 10 1
WP-McFarland. LP-Troutman. 2B-Renfrow (DC), Scales (OC). HR-Small, Wall (OC).