The McLennan Highlanders demolished the Wharton Pioneers 16-1 Monday afternoon in Wharton. Levi David picked up the run-rule victory on the mound for the Highlanders.
McLennan jumped out to a quick lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. Dylan Neuse led off with a single and moved to second on a Wharton error. Josh Breaux and Keaton Milford followed with back-to-back home runs.
McLennan increased its lead with two runs in the third. Breaux led off with another home run. Milford then walked and came around to score on three wild pitches.
Four more Highlander runs scored in the fourth inning. Aidan Shepardson was safe at first on an error, and Breaux and Milford both walked to load the bases. Shepardson scored on a single by Griffin Paxton. Thomas Santos then doubled to score Breaux and Milford. Paxton then scored on a sacrifice fly by Grassanovits.
Charles Robinson's solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning would be Wharton's only run of the day.
The Highlanders scored two runs in the fifth as Neuse walked and scored on Shepardson's home run.
Grassanovits hit a solo home run in the sixth to add to the McLennan lead.
The Highlanders then rounded out the scoring with three runs in the top of the seventh. Nick Thornquist walked and scored on a double by Mitchell Caskey. Caskey moved to third on a ground out by Paxton and scored on a single by Brooks Embry. Grassanovits followed with a double, and Embry scored on a ground out by Grant Miller.
"It was nice to get four or five pitchers out there on the mound and get after it. David got the win. He struggled a little bit with command, but he gave us three solid innings and didn't give up a hit or a run. It was a start that was predetermined for him, and he did a nice job. Then, the four guys that came in in relief did a nice job and all threw the ball well. It was nice to get Brady Childress out there for the first time this year; I'm proud to have him back," coach Mitch Thompson said.
"Offensively, we did enough to score a bunch of runs. We hit five home runs and ended up with 13 hits. It was a really good day offensively; we took good swings and had competitive at-bats."
Next up will be a strong challenge from Weatherford in conference play Wednesday. We will need a good crowd, and we will need to be sharp and come out [to] play our best against a good Weatherford team."
McLennan hosts Weatherford for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Wednesday at Bosque River Ballpark.
McLennan 16, Wharton 1
McLennan 312 421 3 – 16 13 1
Wharton 000 100 0 – 1 4 2
Levi David, Brady Childress (4), Christian Larson (5), Tristen Bayless (6), Nick Urbantke (7) and Josh Breaux, Nick Thornquist (6). Daniel Hecker, Cameron Foster (3), Matthew Oleson (4), Brandon Bolt (6), Anthony Munoz (7) and Beau Olsovsky, C.J. Zepada (5). WP: David; LP: Hecker. Leading hitters – McLennan: Dylan Neuse (2-2, RBI), Aidan Shepardson (1-5, HR, 2 RBI), Josh Breaux (2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI), Keaton Milford (1-1, HR, RBI), Mitchell Caskey (1-1, 2B, RBI), Griffin Paxton (2-5, RBI), Thomas Santos (1-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Brooks Embry (1-1, RBI), Peyton Grassanovits (2-2, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and Grant Miller (0-1, RBI); Wharton: Charles Robinson (1-1, HR, RBI). Record: McLennan 18-6 (3-1).