Big first inning pushes Patriots to rout of Emmanuel

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pike Liberal Arts sent 12 batters to the plate in a big first inning en route to an 11-1 blowout win over Emmanuel Christian Tuesday night at Butch Austin Field in Troy.

The Patriots ripped five straight singles after a leadoff walk to Chandler Avant, and plated five runs before many of the fans got comfortable in their seats.

Rush Hixon picked up the Pats’ first hit, a frozen rope line drive to left, to push Avant across.

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Hixon’s base knock opened the floodgates for Brian Adams, Myles Loving, Drew Starling and Connor Vowel to get singles in the inning.

The big innings allowed the Patriots to play quite a few younger players in the later innings, and head coach Butch Austin said it is always good to get a win.

“I really like the way we attacked the ball in the first inning,” said Austin. “We hit the ball well, and got some runs across. We were able to play some younger kids, which is always good. They practice just like everyone else, so it is good to reward them.”

While he is happy with the win, Austin said his team still has work to do, and the Patriots will get back to work on Wednesday.

“We have to get better on defense,” said Austin. “You practice defense long before you start hitting, and for some reason we aren’t where we need to be. We will work on that, and some mental stuff, like making sure we pick up all our signs. We have work to do, but will get there.”