MAN — The Man High School baseball team began Class A sectional play in a big way by thumping Van 15-0 at Man’s Dr. Juan Nordelo Field on Wednesday night.
Cody Carter hurled a one-hit shutout in the five-inning mercy game. Carter only walked one batter as Man improved to 18-11 on the season and 1-0 in sectional play.
The Hillbillies got all the runs they would need in the bottom of the first inning off Bulldogs hurler Tyler Gunner by scoring two runs to take the early 2-0 lead.
Jordan Simpson’s RBI single scored Andrew Merrit to make it 1-0. Later, Jacob Riggins was hit by a Gunner pitch with the bases loaded for the second run.
Van got its only hit of the game off Carter with two outs in the top of the second on a single by Corey Agosti but he ended up being stranded.
The Billies pushed their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second frame.
Shane Browning led off with a double. Aaron Willard then flew out for the first out. J.T. Twardy then delivered an RBI single to give Man a 3-0 lead.
Van then brought in Justin Toler to the mound but he walked Nick Carter and Simpson drew a bases loaded walk to load the bases. Freshman Braden Griffin then had a sac fly to give the Billies a 4-0 advantage.
Carter then got the Bulldogs out in order in top of the third stanza.
Man loaded the bases in the home half of the third inning off Toler but Carter grounded out back to Toler to end the threat.
Carter got Van out on just four pitches in the top of the fourth inning.
Man then broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning, sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring 11 runs to take a commanding 15-0 lead.
Browning had a two-run double to give MHS a 8-0 lead. Simpson also had a two-run double in the inning to push the game to 11-0. Jacob Riggins and Griffin both had RBI singles as well in the marathon inning.
Carter then got the Bulldogs out in order in the top of the fifth inning to end the game.
Man, rated No. 8 in the state in Class A, is scheduled to resume sectional play on Thursday at 6 p.m. against No. 2-ranked Charleston Catholic at the University of Charleston Field.
Van’s season came to a close at 5-21. The Bulldogs had already lost to Charleston Catholic earlier this week in sectional play.
The Irish and the Billies are now set to play what amounts to a best-of-three game series. Game 2 is scheduled to be played on Friday at 2 p.m. at Logan’s Roger Gertz Field.