What a day for baseball… let’s play two!
The Park Hills Central Rebels started off the season on the right foot, sweeping a double-header on Saturday against St. Charles and Duchesne to kick off the 2023 campaign at 2-0. The high-powered offense and electric pitching from last season seems to have transferred to this year as well.
In the opening tilt of the season the Rebels had to take on the St. Charles Pirates, and it didn’t take long to sink their ship. Central got the line moving in the first with a pair of runs and took a 2-1 lead. They would then pad that in the second with a three-spot thanks to an RBI double from Jaxon Jones and bases loaded walks from Casen Murphy and Kendall Horton.
That 5-2 lead they held after just six outs would stick like glue, thanks to a six-run third with Ty Schweiss, Murphy, Matt Manion and Lucas Whitehead all driving in runs. It was pretty much all she wrote after that, with Central plating three more in the fourth and triggering the mercy rule.
They emerged victorious with a convincing 14-4 win to christen the 2023 season.
Both teams had nine hits, but the Rebels made the most of theirs, and capitalized on 10 walks and three errors. Barrett Henson went 3-for-3 and scored a pair of runs, while Murphy was perfect at the plate with a 2-for-2 outing, two RBI and a pair of walks. He also stole three bases in the game and scored three runs.
Whitehead got the start and the win after tossing just a pair of innings and allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. He did fan three in his limited outing though. Sammy Callaway closed this one out with similar results, throwing two innings and allowing two runs on four hits and a pair of free passes.
That win got things going for Central, but there was still work to do on Saturday. Next up a few hours later were the Duchesne Pioneers. This game was a much tighter affair than the previous blowout, but the Rebels still executed to perfection.
Murphy got the start and was mowing down Pioneers in his three scoreless innings. He didn’t allow a hit and fanned three batters along side a pair of walks, but Kale Dreier got the offense going in the second with an RBI ground out to take a 1-0 lead.
Then in the third Jones smoked an RBI triple and Murphy followed that up with a sac fly to extend the lead to 3-0. That led to a crazy play in the fifth where a double steal sent Murphy to second as Schweiss swiped home, and then on the next pitch Callaway roped a double to make the score 5-0.
Duchesne would crack the egg in the sixth with a single run, but that was all they could muster against the Central hurlers for the game. The Rebels hung on to win and take the game 5-1 for a perfect 2-0 start to the season.
Callaway was the only man with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, but Murphy was an on-base machine once again with his 1-for-2 effort. He added a run, a walk, an RBI and his fourth stolen base in two games. Not to mention his performance on the mound, which earned him the W. Horton pitched a pair of scoreless innings in relief and had three strikeouts.
It was a heck of a way to start the season for the Rebels, and this team looks locked and loaded to do some damage on the mound and at the plate this year.