Mac-Hi pounds Pilot Rock baseballers

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MILTON-FREEWATER - A pair of five-inning mercy rule baseball games left the Mac-Hi Pioneers with 20-1 and 18-6 wins over Pilot Rock Saturday.

Dylan Garcia homered for one of Mac-Hi's 21 hits in the opener. Garcia contributed four hits, as did Troy Kessler.

Alex Ortiz, Patrick Sheets and Dylan Shuler all had three hits apiece in game one.

Shuler and Sheets both checked in with hard-hit triples into the outfield.

Shuler's triple was a gap shot in between the center fielder and left fielder.

Sheets' triple flew over the center fielder's head into the spacious outfield at McRae-Ireland Field.

"We didn't know what to expect," Mac-Hi coach Mike Garcia said, "because we haven't got a game in since the 16th of last month. We were not sure how the kids were going to see the ball and how we were going to hit. But we were extremely happy with how we batted."

On the mound for the Pioneers in the opener was a combination of Ortiz, Kevin Cuellar and Derek Richwine.

The three pitchers for Mac-Hi combined to give up just two walks and three hits, to go with four strikeouts.

"Our pitching coach Tony Schuler has been doing an outstanding job with our pitchers," Garcia said. "Our throwers have been locating the ball well and keep it down to induce a lot of groundball outs."

Richwine finished both games for the Pioneers and Mac-Hi is counting on him to be closer for the season.

"Derek is just a sophomore," Garcia said, "but he is going to be our closer. We are looking at him and trying to work him in there. He throws hard, has good control and has a nasty curveball."

The Pioneers team had 17 hits in the second game.

Leading the way were Sheets and Saul Ortiz with three apiece.

"For what was usually a tough opponent in Pilot Rock, our kids did really well in hitting in both games," Garcia said. "They did a great job of looking for a pitch in the zone and hitting it into the gaps for base runners or RBIs."

The pitching for Mac-Hi wasn't quite as good in game two, with the trio of Kessler, Cuellar and Richwine giving up six runs in five innings.

"Our pitchers are learning the ins and outs of pitching, the techniques and how to pitch effectively," Garcia said. "We are pleased with how they are developing in the three games so far this season."

The Pioneers are now 3-0 in preseason.

Mac-Hi plays Tuesday at home at 6 p.m. versus Weston-McEwen.

Game one

Pilot Rock 001 00 - 1 3 6

Mac-Hi (10)08 2X - 20 21 2

Totus, Stai (3) and T. Waite. Ortiz, A., Cuellar (3), Richwine (5)and McCoy.

HR - Mac-Hi: Garcia.

Hits - Pilot Rock: Weinke 2, Leasy. Mac-Hi: Shuler 3, Sheets 3, Morris 3, McCoy 2, Garcia 4, Cuellar, Kessler. 4, Ortiz, A. 3, Hodgen.

Game two

Pilot Rock 020 31 - 6 10 3

Mac-Hi 023 (13)X - 18 17 4

C. Simmons, Kelly, M. (3) and Waite. Kessler, Cuellar (3), Richwine (5) and Ortiz, S.

HR - none.

Hits - Pilot Rock: Leasy, Simmons 3, Totus 2, Salter 2, Kelly, Stai, Waite. Mac-Hi: Schuler 2, Sheets 3, Morris, Ortiz, A., Hodgen, Garcia, Kessler 2, Cuellar 2, Lienbach, Ortiz, S. 3.

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