The Melissa baseball team won 11-0 with ease in their first round, one-game playoff matchup against Ford on Saturday, May 6, at Rockwall High School.
Melissa got off to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and extended it with four more runs in the third. The Cardinals scored at least one run in every inning except the second.
“We tried to keep the pedal to the floor,” Melissa head coach Jason Russell said. “We were going to play our game and stay after it.”
Juniors Brady Morrison and teammate Andrew Cole were dominant on the mount. Each pitcher threw three innings and allowed one hit apiece. Cole struck out four and walked one while Morrison notched three strikeouts.
“I thought they both did a good job of pounding the strike zone and keeping them off-balance,” Russell said. “That allowed our defense to make plays.”
Morrison led Melissa with three hits and knocked in a pair of RBI. Senior Dalton Vestal went 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot, and junior Tate Whittington had a team high 3 RBI. The team finished with five extra base hits in total.
Patience was key at the plate for the Cardinals — they drew seven walks as a team. Despite also striking out nine times as a team, the Cardinals capitalized on their opportunities, scoring 11 runs on 10 hits. They only left four hitters on base all game.
“We just need to make sure we continue to throw strikes keep our timely hitting up to par and playing good defense,” Russell said. “Hopefully we’ll keep that up.”
Melissa will face Decatur in the area round. Dates and times are to be announced.