PORT BYRON -- Through the first eight games of the prep baseball season, finding a consistent offensive rhythm has been an issue for the Orion Chargers.|
After pounding out 11 hits in Tuesday's 14-1, five-inning nonconference victory over the Riverdale Rams on a chilly day, Orion coach Alex Johnson hopes his club can bottle the essence of Tuesday's win and take it with them the rest of the way.
"We're trying to develop consistency at the plate,'' said Johnson, whose club improves to 5-4. "Our season depends on us doing that. If we can do that, we're going to be a good team. I really like our chances.''
The Chargers were certainly consistent in the top of the first inning, sending 10 batters to the plate against Riverdale starting pitcher Drew Beale and plating five runs,. Senior first baseman Tyler Nelson's three-run homer provided the crowning blow.
"We've got to focus more on getting good at-bats and good pitches,'' said Nelson, who was 3-for-3 with four runs scored. "Getting five runs is a good way to start. It got everyone's spirits up.''
Said Johnson: "Tyler provides us with a lot of senior leadership. He comes every day and works hard, and it was good to see him have a big day for us.''
Orion then tacked on four third-inning runs to widen its lead to 9-0, the big blow being a two-run single by catcher Benny Terronez. Terronez and Christian Allen formed a formidable one-two punch at the top of the lineup, with Terronez going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Allen going 3-for-4 and driving in three runs.
Riverdale (1-4) got its lone run off Orion hurler Drew Amador in the last of the third when Josh Lohman doubled and scored on an error. Amador allowed five hits -- three by Rams' catcher Ruben Garza -- walked one and struck out five.
"We had a hard time getting started,'' said Riverdale coach Brian Krier, "and we were never able to respond. We had a couple of chances to get a big inning going, but didn't get the timely hits when we needed them.''
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