SW Shockers Red explode for 26 runs
Once the sun ducked behind towering clouds and a large anvil moving in from the west to steadily drop the scorching temperature, the Red Southwest Shockers' bats still remained hot.
The Shockers, now 6-0 on the summer campaign, exploded for a 10-run second inning in a 12-4 run-ruled nightcap win over the Oklahoma City Indians Friday evening at MacArthur High School. The Shockers were just as impressive in their first game of the day when bulldozing Piedmont, 15-1, courtesy of a pair of 7-run innings.
The Shockers' bats have been sizzling in the first two days of the Jim Walton Tournament as the Red squad has scored 51 runs in four blowout victories, granting the Shockers the No. 1 seed in Pool A heading into today's games.
Today, the Shockers meet Woodward (Pool B, No. 4 Seed) at 1:30 p.m. at Cameron University's McCord Field. Should the Shockers win again, they will be in the driver's seat and won't play until Sunday at noon, with the championship in sight.
"We all take winning seriously," said Shocker Brady Hopkins, an All-State catcher from Granite. "That was key for us to get off to a hot start and keep rolling. We just want to get this first tournament out of the way, win it, build that confidence and keep moving forward."
Hopkins pitched a complete game in the win over Piedmont and then got behind the plate as catcher in the win over the Indians.
The loose, but motivated Shockers got cooking in the second inning when lighting up the Indians for 10 runs. Austin Neal doubled to the left-center wall, stole third base then slid home safely on a fielder's choice for the Shockers' first run of the game.
Brooks Red ripped a liner to right field for an RBI single before the Shockers scored on a bases-loaded walk. Then Trevor Bianchini of Elgin lined a 2-run double to center, and all of a sudden it was 5-0 Shockers.
Neal strolled back to the plate and cashed in a 3-run home run over the left-center wall, for a 9-0 lead.
"Sorry I ruined your grand slam," Jaken Snider jokingly told Neal after Snider had hit an RBI sacrafice fly, squandering Neal's bases-loaded opportunity.
In the third, the Shockers plated another run courtesy of Lenard Pieterez's RBI double to the left field wall to make it 11-3.
"Confidence," Hopkins said of where the quality run production is stemming from. "Everyone knows what their part is and gets on base. Then the next guy's job is to move them over and get 'em in."
It's also done wonders for the Shockers on the other side of the ball, knowing the lead is safe.
"The run production means a lot for our pitching," Fultz said. "We don't have to go out there and be as sharp on the mound. It lets the guys relax and just throw, knowing if you give up a couple runs, it's not a big deal because we're gonna go out there and get those runs back. So that run support helps our pitching staff a lot."