Conner Redmond drove in three runs and Bryce Starling knocked in two more as Triton earned a 10-7 win at Cleveland in the Two Rivers 3A baseball opener for both teams Tuesday night.
Aaron Hedgepeth earned the win on the mound for the Hawks (5-1, 1-0) while Jamar Poston took the loss for the Rams (4-5-1, 0-1). Adam Capps pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the save.
The win was the first as a varsity head coach for Tanner Ferguson, a 2014 Triton High graduate who serves as an assistant to Joey Miriello. Miriello missed the game because of an illness.
“I’m just proud of the boys tonight,” Ferguson said. “The way they came out, knowing Miriello wasn’t going to be here. They had faith in me. I had faith in them.”
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A triple play tested that faith in the top of the first inning when Capps lined to Cleveland shortstop Dalton Sanderlin with two on and nobody out. Sanderlin then ran to second, where he doubled off Jacob Maness, before firing the ball to first to catch Hunter Vinson off first to complete the 5-3 triple play.
Bobby Dixon singled in a run for the Rams in the home half of the first, but Starling’s RBI single knotted the score at 1-1 in the top of the second.
Hunter Ward and Tyler Theide both scored on a couple of errors by Triton in the bottom of the second, and the Rams held a 3-1 advantage.
The Hawks rallied for four runs in the top of the third, highlighted by a two-run single from Redmond and Starling’s second RBI of the night, and they never trailed again.
Cleveland had some success against Hedgepeth, whose verbally committed to play for Mount Olive. Bobby Dixon was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a run batted in and two runs scored while Chase Webster was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
“I can’t fault the kids’ effort,” Cleveland coach Jamie Lee said. “We put a seven-spot up tonight on one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in our league. Aaron just knows how to pitch. He throws hard and he’s got a good curve ball. Good change up, too. We put a seven-spot up, and I’ll take that every time out against that good pitching.”
Triton visits Midway on Wednesday while Cleveland plays at Enloe.