HAGERSTOWN —You can’t ask for anything better to start the baseball season than scoring eight runs in the first inning.
The Jefferson baseball team rolled into Hagerstown on a cool and windy but sun-drenched Thursday and headed back home after five innings with a 19-2 romp over St. Maria Goretti in the season opener for both teams.
From the very first batter, when Goretti’s Adam Blenckstone walked Anthony DiAmario, it was all Cougars.
Jefferson had 12 hits and took advantage of three hit batsmen and eight walks, scoring in every inning.
“It starts with walks,” said Goretti coach Denny Talbert. “We were all over the place. But our kids competed and we scored two runs in the end.”
DiAmario scored the first run when Blenckstone uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded after a walk and hit batsman. Kalen Nehler then roped a shot to left for a three-run home run, the first of four hit by the Cougars.
Two hits and a walk produced another run, and with the top of the order up again, DiAmario brought in three more runs with a homer.
“The kids were patient and got good swings at good pitches,” longtime Jefferson coach John Lowery said.
Lowery was pleasantly surprised by DiAmario, a transfer from Florida who showed more power than Lowery expected.
Andrew Grove highlighted a three-run third inning by driving in two runs with a sharp double, and the Cougars put up five more in the fourth, courtesy of a three-run shot by Andrew King and a solo blast by Brandt Petrie.
The Gaels weren’t able to solve the offerings of right-hander Kevin Boyd, who went the distance, allowing three hits and three walks.
“For openers, Boyd had good velocity,” Lowery said.
After Kevin Proctor’s infield single in the bottom of the first, Goretti was held hitless until the fifth when Tim Davidson smacked a clean single to left center and Yusif Bayoh reached on an infield single. Each moved up a base on Boyd’s errant pickoff attempt to first.
Jake Moats and Blenckstone drove in a run each on infield groundouts.
Last season, Boyd and Blake Johnson accounted for 22 of Jefferson’s 24 victories.
Jefferson 19, St. Maria Goretti 2
Jefferson 823 51 — 19 12 1
Goretti 000 02 — 2 3 2
Boys and Henshaw. Blenckstone, Proctor (2), Blake (4), Davidson (5) and Bartholomew. WP — Boyd (1-0). LP — Blenckstone (0-1). HR — J: Nehler (1st, two on), DiAmario (1st, two on), King (4th, two on), Petrie (4th, none on).