OTTAWA — The Marquette Academy baseball team kept the hot offense and great pitching going as they did battle with Hinckley-Big Rock in a non-conference game.
The Crusaders had just nine hits but took advantage of eight walks issued by five Royal pitchers and came away with a 16-1 five-inning win here at Masinelli Field in Ottawa on Saturday.
“They (Marquette) are a very good ballclub,” said H-BR head coach Matt Olsen. “They are very crisp and their defense was very sharp. From our standpoint, we have to make the simple plays and throw the ball better.”
On the mound, after watching teammates Bryce Jones and John Thompson throw a perfect game and a no-hitter against the Henry Mallards this past week in Tri-County conference play, senior fire-baller Hunter McAlpine took his turn in the rotation.
McAlpine was dealing from the beginning to the end. Royals shortstop and lead-off hitter Tate Sanderson ended any hopes of a no-hitter or a perfect game being thrown as the hit a line shot on the third pitch he saw into left field for a single.
McAlpine ended the day with an efficient 53-pitch complete game win allowing just four hits and one unearned run and walked one and fanned five in five innings of work.
“I thought he (Hunter) did a very good job,” said MA coach Todd Hopkins. “He got ahead of most of the hitters and we have a pretty good defense. We turned two or three double plays which helped out.”
“We were able to get guys in who don’t get a lot of time a significant amount of playing time and they came in and did a great job.”
It marked the first hit and run allowed by Marquette (14-0) pitchers since their 9-8 10-inning win over Tri-Valley on April 6th.
Sanderson was immediately erased when the next batter, Connor Bullard grounded out into a 4-6-3 twin killing.
The next hitter, Spencer Brown hit a ground ball to Crusader shortstop Nate Melvin, who fired the ball to first baseman Haydon Price to end to inning.
The MA offense went to work in the bottom of the second inning to push across 10 runs to effectively put the game out of reach.
Designated hitter Max Donahue led off the Crusaders big inning with a walk.
H-BR starter Cody Cleveland also walked Jack Snook and Haydon Price to load the bases and Donahue came home with the first run of the game on a Cleveland wild pitch.
Connor Durdan was hit by a pitch and that again loaded the bases and catcher Jay Scott grabbed an RBI-single to right field to chase home Snook.
Jalen Flavel came in for Scott as a courtesy runner and eventually scored when Royals relief pitcher hit Luke Couch with a pitch to make the score 5-0, Marquette.
The Royals (0-6) negated the Crusader shut-out bid in the away half of the fifth inning.
Hunter Swanson led off the final H-BR at-bat by knocking a single into center field and was quickly forced out on a ground out by Richard Hintzsche to Couch who got it to second baseman Flavel to complete the force.
After McAlpine walked Noah Badal to send Hintzsche to second. Hintzsche came around to score when Cory Pieckert reached on an error.
After being a courtesy runner for Jay Scott, Flavel came into the field and was the only Crusader play with two hits. Price and Caleb Boucher each smacked doubles.
Sanderson had two of the four hits for the Royals.
Marquette has another home non-conference game, today vs. Amboy at 4:30 p.m.