A packed Lucky Corner was treated to a decisive 11-0 Leprechauns victory over the Southfield Redbirds, fueled by a red-hot start on offense and dominant pitching. The Leprechauns offense started off hot, putting up five runs on three hits, partially aided by Redbirds starter Davion Jackson, who surrendered five walks and was only able to get two men out. The bottom half of the first inning took approximately a half hour as the eleven Leprechauns went up to bat that inning, batting around the order.
Nathan Martin got the start for the Leprechauns today, and he matched the high-octane output from the offense with a great showing on the mound. Martin handed in three scoreless innings of work, striking three batters out and only surrendering one hit and one walk.
After a scoreless second inning, the Leprechauns were able to get two more runs on the board in the third, sparked by a leadoff triple by Trey Haeger out of Hillsdale College. He touched home through a sacrifice fly by Ryan Callanan, and then Michael Stellrecht and Caden Duryea teamed up to rip a single and a triple, respectively, scoring the other run of the inning.
Duryea, from Northwood University, was possibly the top hitter for the Leprechauns today, going 3-for-4, going a home run shy of the cycle with an additional two RBIs and a run in the process. Haeger also has a great case, with three hits, two RBIs, two runs, and a stolen base himself.
Zach Hopman came in relief for the Leprechauns after Martin’s three innings of work and gave three masterful innings of his own. The Michigan State Spartan struck out six batters in comparison to surrendering three hits and zero walks. The only time the Redbirds had a runner in scoring position under Hopman’s watch was in the fourth, as they had two hits in the inning, leaving them both stranded. One of the only shortcomings of the game for the Leprechauns came in their bottom half of the fourth, as they had runners on second and third with two outs, but Josh Flowers struck out looking to leave them.
In the fifth inning, Royal Oak added an additional run through a Josh Getz single, a balk by the Redbirds’ pitcher, and Caden Duryea’s second RBI base hit of the day, making the score nine to zip. After yet another quiet top half of the inning for the Redbirds, who didn’t have an extra base hit, the Leprechauns continued to mash against the depleted Redbirds pitching as they tacked on two more runs on a two-RBI single by Josh Getz, extending the massive lead to double digits.
To finish off the game, Brandon Mann, a man that pitched and took snaps at quarterback at the University of Michigan this past year, came into the ballgame. His high-velocity fastball overpowered hitters as yet another goose egg was placed on the scoreboard with zero hits given up, though a man did get on base through a throwing error. After Mann racked up his second strikeout of the inning for the third out, that was the ballgame. The home fans, largely elementary school students from around the Royal Oak area, got to go home happy with the blowout victory. Royal Oak will face off against the Redbirds once again tomorrow and on Friday in two more exhibition games, both at 11 a.m., as they prepare for GLSCL league play to begin.