ESSEX – The Shenandoah Mustangs scored 16 runs in the fourth inning and beat Essex 23-1, Saturday, June 27 in a game that was called after four innings due to the run rule.
The Mustangs produced 23 runs on 15 hits, but multiple Trojan errors early let starting pitcher Caden Henderson down in his first start.
“Caden threw very well,” Essex head coach Seth Ward said. “It was just simple plays we should have made on defense, but I was very impressed with his first outing against a good Shenandoah team.”
The first two Mustangs reached on errors in the first inning, scoring a run. Owen McCunn followed with an RBI single. A walk and a single loaded the bases with two outs, and then Devin Morelock drew a walk for a 3-0 lead after an inning.
An error started Shenandoah’s two-run second frame. Braden Knight followed with a single. McCunn walked to load the bases. Henderson battled back and struck out Blake Doyle and then got Anthony Stogdill to flyout, which scored a run. A double steal attempt allowed Shenandoah’s second run to score just before the Essex defense tagged McCunn out to end the inning.
Shenandoah added two runs in the third on RBI hits by Brody Owen and Cain Lorimor.
Essex scored its run in the home third. Johnny Resh was hit by a pitch to start the inning. He took second, and then third on a passed ball. He would score on a wild pitch.
The floodgates opened in the fourth as 13 different Mustangs reached base. The 16-run inning saw the Mustangs pound out 10 hits, highlighted by Stogdill’s inside the park three-run home run. Shenandoah also took seven walks in the inning.
“Everybody got an at-bat,” Shenandoah head coach Brett Roberts said. “Everybody got a chance to play defense. We made good adjustments to their pitchers and had some good, productive at-bats.”
Stogdill led the offense with three hits and six RBIs. Ruzek and Owen added two hits each while eight additional Mustangs had one.
Logan Dickerson went the distance on the mound for the Mustangs and lost a no-hitter when Wesley Johnson singled to right field in the fourth.
Dickerson struck out seven, giving up the one hit and an earned run.
The Mustangs improved to 3-3 and continue to get better, according to Roberts.
“We’re going to go as far as our defense takes us,” said Roberts. “We need to keep playing good, solid defense and having good approaches on offense. Every game and every practice is a step and I keep telling the guys we can’t skip steps and we can’t skip opportunities to get better. We have come a long way in a week and if we keep on that pace, we’ll be a tough team when it comes district time.”
Henderson started the fourth inning on the mound for the Trojans. Tony Racine and Payton Ashlock completed the inning. Ward said it may not have shown in this game, but his young team keeps improving.
“Each game we’re improving on defense and offense,” said Ward. “It’s all coming together. They’re keeping their heads up. We just need fewer errors and more hits.”
The loss dropped the Trojans to 0-5 on the season.