The Miami Trace varsity baseball team opened the 2017 season Monday with a home game against the Greeneview Rams.
The Panthers got off on the right foot with an 11-3 victory.
Austin Mathews started and was the winning pitcher for the Panthers.
He pitched four innings yielding two hits and three runs (none earned) with two walks and five strikeouts.
Preston Huff pitched the final three innings for Miami Trace. He allowed no hits and no runs, walked two and struck out two.
“We’ve been impressed with Austin all during the preseason,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Smith said. “Being a non-league game, we wanted to give him a shot and he did a really nice job. All of their runs were unearned on a couple of our mistakes. He had one inning where he was a little wild. Other than that, especially when he finished up, he was throwing pretty good. He was getting stronger again in the fourth. Just starting the season, we didn’t want him to throw too many pitches.
“Then Preston Huff came in and threw strikes in the last three innings,” Smith said. “He threw the ball well and that’s what you ask out of your pitchers.”
Eight different players had hits for Miami Trace.
Three players had two hits each: Mitchell Creamer was 2 for 3 with a double, two rbi and one run scored; Skyler McDonald was 2 for 4 with one run, one rbi and one stolen base and Hunter Moore was 2 for 2 with two runs scored and one stolen base.
“It was a good first game for us,” Smith said. “We put the bat on the ball early. I thought after the first inning we got a little complacent. Then, we picked it up again. We know what things we still need to work on.”
Miami Trace scored all the runs they would need, and then some, with seven in the bottom of the first.
Greeneview scored two in the top of the second to pull to within five runs.
The Rams scored what turned out to be their final run of the game in the top of the third.
The Panthers responded with three in the third and later tacked on one more in the fifth inning.
Miami Trace is off Tuesday and back in action Wednesday, opening the final-ever season of the South Central Ohio League with a 5 p.m. game at Chillicothe.
Offensively for Miami Trace: Trenton Harris, 1-4, 1 run, 1 rbi, 1 sb; Josh Morton, 1-3, 2 runs, 1 rbi, 1 bb; Brady Wallace, 1-3, 1 bb, 1 run, 1 rbi; Mitchell Creamer, 2-3, 1 2b, 1 run, 2 rbi; Skyler McDonald, 2-4, 1 run, 1 rbi, 1 sb; Jacob Batson, 0-3, 1 bb; Logan Robinson, 1-3, 1 bb, 2 runs, 1 sb; Hunter Moore, 2-2, 2 runs, 1 sb; Dalton Mayer, 0-2; Heath Cockerill, 1-3, 1 run, 1 rbi, 2 sb.
Offensively for Greeneview: Phillips, hbp, 1 run; Hines, 1 bb, 1 run; Wilson, 1 hit, 1 sb, 1 run; Smith, 1 hit.
G 021 100 0 — 3 2 1
MT 703 010 x — 11 11 1
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1