Trojans dominant in season opener
MOUNT UNION – There are wins, and then there are dominating wins. Mount Union opened the baseball season with one of the latter at home on Friday afternoon.
With hits all around – including a 3-for-3 effort from Trevon Walker, who had seven RBIs – plus a perfect showing from the mound from Klayton Heffner through the mercy rule-shortened, three-inning contest – Mount Union easily dispatched Inter-County Conference opponent Williamsburg, 15-0.
“We did it all today, and every coach wants it that way,” a pleased Nick Imperioli said.
The Mount Union coach said the Trojans struggled with their batting during preseason practices, but was pleased to see that was not the case on Friday.
The Trojans were led at the plate by Walker, who pounded the ball deep to center field in each of his three at bats to bring in more than half the team’s runs. However, it was a team effort throughout the lineup as each of the nine batters either scored a run, batted in a run or had a combination of the two as Mount Union cruised to the win.
On the defensive end, Heffner’s curveball kept the Williamsburg batters baffled, as he caught the Blue Pirates looking at pitches that appeared to be high and tight, but dropped into the strike zone for two of his five strikeouts.
“I thought he did really well because he didn’t throw a lot of pitches,” Imperioli said of Heffner, who only threw 29 pitches the entire contest. “His good fastball and his really good curve – it was just a good day for us.”
Mount Union kicked off its scoring in the first with four runs. Williamsburg starting pitcher Austin McMonigal struggled early to find the strike zone and walked Heffner and Thad Wakefield, the first two to come to the plate. He then paid for the mistake when Brady Goodling hit a double to center to bring home Heffner, then Walker also hit one to deep center field to bring in Wakefield and Goodling. Hunter Atherton rounded out the first-inning scoring with a rap to center to bring Walker around from second.
Nothing improved for McMonigal in the bottom of the second, when he walked the first three batters of the inning, later walked Goodling with the bases loaded, then Walker and Drew Harshbarger combined for three RBIs to make the score 9-0 before the inning ended.
Silas Dishong started the third inning from the mound for Williamsburg, but had no more success dealing with Mount Union than McMonigal did. Dishong gave up six runs on four hits to allow the Trojans to put the game away early because of the 15-run rule. The third featured a three-run triple from Walker and a single to right from freshman C.J. Booher to bring in Atherton and Dylan Sunderland for the 15-0 final score.
Mount Union (1-0, 1-0) will continue the season Tuesday when the Trojans host Claysburg-Kimmel.