Pacific Rolls in Opener

Pacific pitcher Austin Muich sends a pitch to the plate against Montgomery County during first-round baseball action in the Four Rivers Classic at Pacific High School. The Indians opened their season with a 12-2 victory in five innings.

With four runs in the bottom of the second inning, Pacific took control of its Four Rivers Classic home baseball contest Friday against Montgomery County.

The Indians (1-0) added six runs in the fourth inning and ended the game with two runs in the fifth for a 12-2 victory.

Montgomery County scored single runs in the top of the first and third innings.

“It’s a good way to start the season. I was disappointed in a couple of things, like our approach at the plate. We took too many fastballs. Our pitchers gave up too many walks,” said Pacific Head Coach Jeff Reed. “Those are things that we’ll work on. Overall, it was a good game for us.”

Pacific used three pitchers in the game, two sophomores and a junior.

Austin Muich, a sophomore, got the start on the mound and worked two innings. He allowed two runs on no hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Fellow sophomore Lucas Zurliene took over and pitched the next 2.2 frames. He allowed no runs on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts to earn the win.

Ryan Howell, a junior, recorded the final out in the top of the fifth inning. He walked two batters.

“We have a lot of young pitchers this season who need to get their feet wet. I’m sure the nerves were going pretty good for the first game. We threw 107 pitches in the game and only 53 of them were strikes. We need to fix that,” Reed said. “We threw Austin right in there and gave him the start to show him the confidence we have in him. Our defense was good when we had the chance to make some plays.”

Leading the Indians’ six-hit attack was Hank Vandaveer, who finished with two hits (one triple), two RBIs and one run.

James Howie reached base twice with a double, a walk, three RBIs and two runs.

Noah Brocato collected one hit, one walk and one run.

Tyler Straatmann registered one hit, one RBI and one run.

Howell added one hit and one walk.

Lane Smith drew two walks and scored three runs.

Tanner Brown walked twice and scored a run.

Drew Fonner added one walk, one RBI and one run. Hunter Finney drew a walk.

“I think seven of our first nine outs were strikeouts, which made me a little nervous. Once we scored our first run, we settled down and got things going pretty good,” Reed said. “Hank had a big triple in the fourth inning and James had a double that scored a couple of runs. Tyler also had an RBI hit in the game. It was nice to see us have some clutch hits.”

Pacific won the pool title with a victory Tuesday at New Haven.

The tournament finals take place on Saturday.