In their respective district openers, both Shaw and St. Augustine stumbled.
On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles (11-6, 1-1) rebounded in a big way in blasting the Purple Knights 13-0.
In its District 9-5A opener, Shaw was edged 4-3 by Holy Cross, while St. Aug fell to Jesuit 16-0.
“Anytime you beat a district opponent in this district, it’s a good win,” Shaw coach Kirk Bullinger said.
“Last year, (St. Augustine) played us tight both times. I told the guys: they’ve been struggling a bit lately, but they’re going to come out guns blazing to turn it around, so we have to get on top early and stay on top and that’s what we were able to do out there today.”
Right-hander Zach Autin threw four scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits, to stymie the Purple Knights.
“I haven’t pitched in the last two weeks because of a hamstring injury. So, I tried to approach it like a bullpen session, trying to throw strikes consistently,” said Autin, who struck out six.
“I knew my team would supply some runs on my backside, so I was just trying to throw some strikes, get ahead in the count, get some outs and head back to the dugout.”
Justice McCoy registered the lone two hits for St. Augustine (6-9).
“Zach’s fastball had plenty of life. His breaking ball is always good, and when he’s throwing strikes, he’s very difficult to hit,” Bullinger said.
“When he’s ahead, he can mix in his breaking ball and become a very tough pitcher to hit.”
Autin, Lance Landry and Josh Pantoja combined for five hits in nine at-bats while driving in two runs apiece. Four other Shaw batters tallied an RBI, contributing to a four-run first inning, five-run third inning and a four-run fifth that concluded with Pantoja’s two-RBI double to shallow right field that snuck under St. Augustine’s diving outfielder.
Shaw capped the district game with 12 hits.
“Hitting can be contagious. Hopefully it becomes contagious. Hopefully we all catch it,” Bullinger said. “We had the game against Holy Cross. We pounded out 10 hits. We had 16 base runners. We just couldn’t get the big hit. (Saturday), we took care of that. And that’s what we have to do moving forward.
“We have to have solid approaches at the plate with guys on base and I think we did that today. Hopefully that carries over.”