(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
DEXTER -- Fresh off their comeback win against Oran the day prior, Dexter kept things rolling on Wednesday when the Kelly Hawks came to town.
Pumping out nine runs in the first inning alone, the Bearcats were able to claim their fourth win in their first five games of the season with a 13-1 decision in five innings on the mercy rule.
"We busted it open in the first," Dexter head coach Brian Becker said. "They had a little trouble fielding the ball, but we also put the bat on the ball pretty well. We were able to put nine runs up there in the first.
"Brad Potts goes out there and throws nine pitches in the first inning and then we come and get a lot of runs. That's a coaches dream right there. We got up early and Potts went out the rest of the way and did a good job."
After Potts sent the Hawks down in order to open the game, the Bearcats went to work in the bottom of the first frame where they easily batted around the order.
Plating each of their first five batters in the contest, the Bearcats took advantage of four hits, two walks and a pair of hit batters to fuel their rally while Kelly committed three errors in the frame.
Bringing the first run across, Chase Young came up to bat after the Bearcats opened up the inning with a hit batter and a single leaving runners on first and third.
Driving a single to right field, Young put the Bearcats up 1-0 before an Alex Cliff walk in the next at bat loaded the bases. Still with no outs, Jordan Miller came to the plate and hit a double to deep left-center field, which brought home another two runs.
Though a strikeout followed Miller's at bat for the first out of frame, that hardly slowed the Bearcats down as they went on to score another six runs in the frame. Of those six, five came in on errors with Potts hitting his second single of the inning to score the other.
"We just told them to keep their front side on and make sure they try to work up the middle and opposite field," Becker said. "For the most part they did a good job of that."
Putting up back-to-back two-run rallies in the second and third innings, Dexter pushed ahead 13-0 before Kelly's offense found some life in the top of the fourth.
Following three flawless innings by Potts, the Hawks finally broke through when Aaron Grainger hit a double to deep center to open the inning.
Coming up after a fly out and an error left runners on first and third with one out, Jeff Gates put the Hawks on the board with a single that scored Grainger from third.
Unable to put any further dents in the Bearcats lead, however, Kelly saw the mercy rule take effect after a scoreless fifth inning.
"Sometimes in high school baseball one day you can look like you can beat anybody and then the next day you can look anybody can beat you," Hawks' head coach Josh Eftink said. "That's where we were today.
"Sometimes whenever we're playing SEMO Conference schools I don't know if some of the kids don't think they can compete or what the deal is, but we have to get them to where they think they can play with anybody out there."
Picking up the win, Potts went a full five innings surrendering only one run on two hits and a walk while striking out seven. Besides the three runners he allowed in Kelly's one-run fourth, the only other Hawks to reach base were Dustin Schwartz and Grainger in the fifth.
"Brad Potts threw a great game," Becker said. "He had command of every pitch and hit his spots well. We played great defense today as well.
"Josh Overall did a great job at third base. He made some outstanding plays and we made the routine plays as well. I've been real satisfied with our defense so far this year and hopefully we can keep playing good defense."
Dexter had 11 hits on the contest with Potts leading way, going 3 for 4, with a pair of runs batted in. Young, Miller and D.J. Dowdy had two hits each, including a double by Miller.
Kelly's two hits in the game came from Grainger and Gates, both in the fourth.
The Bearcats improve to 4-1 while the Hawks fall to 2-4.
Kelly 000 10 - 1
Dexter 922 0x - 13
WP -- Brad Potts. LP -- Aaron Grainger. Multiple hitters: (D) Brad Potts 3-4, Cahse Young 2-3, Jordan Miller 2-4, D.J. Dowdy 2-4. 2B -- (K) Aaron Grainger; (D) Miller.