WALKER – Walker scored a run in all five innings en route to a 10-0 mercy-rule shutout Monday in five innings of Denham Springs in Metro League action.
The Wildcats scored their runs on five hits and a plethora of walks, with six of their runs reaching base on a walk or error. Every single Walker batter reached base safely.
Pitcher Paul Howard had a standout night for the Wildcats at the plate with a 3-3 performance with two RBI and a walk in the final inning that scored two runs.
“He told me that I need to be here all the time,” said Walker coach Randy Sandifer, who splits time coaching the team along with Clint Carver. “When I’m here, he swings the bat well. I told him, ‘Well I’ll be here in the spring every day, so keep it up.’ I think Paul’s getting a great chance this summer and he’s
doing something with it. He’s making it very hard to not have him in some role, probably as an outfielder when he’s not pitching.”
Conversely, Denham Springs struggled mightily at the plate, only picking up three hits in the first two innings of the game.
“You don’t score one run, it’s hard to win,” said Denham Springs assistant coach Lafayette Duhe, who ran the team in the absence of head coach Mark Carroll. “At the plate, we didn’t do enough. We didn’t do anything really. We had three hits, but we didn’t have three productive hits.”
After the first two innings, Walker pitchers Christian Cassels and Grant Edwards imposed their will against the Yellow Jackets, retiring them in order in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
“That’s one of our big improvements,” Sandifer said. “We’ve got a little more consistent there. Christian threw well and Grant has thrown extremely well all summer. Having those two guys come in and contribute is huge. Grant has put himself in position to be in the mix next year. It’s hard to not look at him as our No. 1 or 2 starter after the summer he’s put together.”
Walker opened the game with two runs on a walk and single from Spencer Murray and Howard, who came around to score after an error and a pair of walks set the carousel in motion.
Kevin Veguilla walked and came around to score in the second on a single from Howard, and in the third Veguilla scored a run with an infield single for a 4-0 lead.
In the fourth the Wildcats strung four hits in a row to score another two runs, including an RBI-double from Howard. Walker activated the run rule with a four-run fifth inning, with all four runs reaching on walks and a fielder’s choice.
“I thought today was a pretty even job all the way through the game,” Sandifer said. “There wasn’t a lot of highs and lows, it was pretty steady. Right now, that’s what we’re kind of looking for. Instead of one big inning, putting two or three innings together. That’s big, and it’s not the same guys all the time. This is a good win for them.”