Tigers pillage Fort Scott in baseball season opener

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

FORT SCOTT, Kan. -- The Nevada Tigers took advantage of six errors and ineffective Fort Scott pitching as they ran away with the season opener for both schools, 10-2.

Nevada never trailed as they scored without a hit in the first inning, finished with only three earned runs the entire game and simply didn't make the mistakes that cost Fort Scott throughout.

"That was excellent," Nevada head coach Jared Brown said after the game. "Looking at a first game, we came out and played as a team."

The first inning set the tone for the game. Keith Overton drew a one-out walk in the top of the first, went to second on a passed ball, and scored after three consecutive Nevada batters were hit by Fort Scott starting pitcher Dakota Hall.

Heath Baker, Chris Eador and Jordan Kerbs were the three recipients of the Fort Scott bean-ball festival. The three HBP came with two outs in the inning.

In the bottom of the first with one out, Fort Scott's John Leek got the first hit of the season when he singled to center. But Nevada starter Brett Clark induced a double play ball on his first pitch to Dillon Knapp and the visitors held the 1-0 lead.

"That play was huge for us," Brown said. "Brett was throwing the ball real well. That really set the tone for the game for us."

Justin Reed started the double play at shortstop, while Eador made the turn at second, beating Knapp at first by a step.

Nevada stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third. Reed reached on an error by Fort Scott shortstop Leek, one of three he had in the game.

After Baker popped out, Eador singled, moving Reed to third. Eador stole second and after Kerbs struck out, Jerrod Alexander hit a hot shot to short that Leek misplayed, allowing Reed and Eador to score.

Fort Scott scored in the bottom of the inning, as Cole Pruitt drove in Hall with a two-out single.

Nevada blew the game open in the fifth, scoring four runs on three hits and a Fort Scott error, with the big blow coming off the bat of Cody Thompson.

With two runs already in and two outs, Thompson drove in two with a single just past the second baseman Pruitt, allowing Alexander and Kyle Hughes to score for a 7-1 lead.

Alexander had driven in the first run of the inning with a single, and Hughes followed with an RBI double.

"We had key big hits in key situations," Brown said.

Nevada added three more unearned runs in the sixth with their lone hit a double by Baker to lead off.

Fort Scott's only other run came in the fifth and it was unearned. Nevada committed their only two errors of the game in the inning, and Leek drove in Pruitt with an RBI single. Pruitt had reached on a fielder's choice and went to second on a throwing error by Eador.

Clark went three innings for Nevada giving up three hits, walking one and striking out one. Dakota Bright relieved him and went two innings, giving up two hits and two walks, but striking out three. Thompson pitched the final two innings for the Tigers, striking out three and walking two, but allowing only one hit.

Notes: Eador went 1-for-1 at the plate with two walks a hit-by-pitch and two runs scored. Baker was 2-for-4 with a single and double and also scored twice. Hughes, who replaced Parker Board in the fourth inning, was 1-for-2 with a double, reached on an error and scored twice. Freshman Colby Shepherd, making his NHS debut, had an infield single in the seventh on a short pop up that fell thanks to the wind ... Nevada took advantage of four hit batters and seven walks ... despite scoring 10 runs, Nevada batters did strike out 13 times in the game ... Nevada is in Pittsburg, Kan. Wednesday to face Colgan, with their home opener Thursday against Carthage at 4 p.m.

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