Class 4A No. 1 Jeffersonville got off to a rough start in its season opener in the first game of a split doubleheader involving Class 4A No. 10 Fort Wayne Carroll on Monday at Don Poole Field.
As for New Albany, its 2014 campaign began on a much different note.
The Red Devils lost to the Chargers in the twinbill opener, 6-2. Carroll later suffered its first loss of the season in the nightcap to the Bulldogs, 10-4.
NEW ALBANY 10, CARROLL 4
The Bulldogs’ offense showed much improvement in their victory over perennial power Carroll, collecting 12 hits.
Senior Tucker Marcum led the New Albany lineup, going 3-for-3 with a double and a triple. Bulldog junior Joey Collins was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, which included a solo home run in bottom of the sixth over the left-field wall.
Also for New Albany, senior Brady Parr went 2-for-4 and senior Jarius McClure had two RBIs and two runs scored.
“We really at this point in the year haven’t spent a whole lot of time on offense. That’s probably what we spend the least amount of time on. Pitching and defense are where we’ve always hung our hat,” Bulldogs’ coach Chris McIntyre said. “One of the best things that we did tonight was we had two and three sacrifice flies to move runners. We executed a nice hit-and-run. We got a couple bunts down. We had some really good at-bats. Even some at-bats that didn’t end up in hits were good at-bats.”
The Bulldogs jumped on Chargers’ starting pitcher Grant Inman right from the outset, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Collins knocked in both runs with an opposite-field single to right field with two out.
After Carroll scored once in the top of the second, the Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the half with four runs to up their lead to 6-1. All the scores came with two out.
Marcum smacked his three-bagger to right-center to bring in Matt Sogge from first base. Marcum then came home on a passed ball.
Later in the frame, McClure scored from third on a Inman wild pitch. That forced Carroll coach Dave Ginder to replace Inman with Tyler Kissinger.
The Chargers surrendered back-to-back singles by Jack Shine and Collins, with Collins’ base hit knocking in Sheldon Miller-Embry.
New Albany used three pitchers in the win. In a starting role, Collins gave up one earned run on three hits in two innings of work. Tanner Goller threw the next two innings, giving up three runs (all unearned) on three hits in earning the win.
Bulldogs’ ace Brandon Johnson pitched the final three frames. He allowed no runs on one hit with six strikeouts and three walks.
“The pitchers threw the ball pretty well, I thought,” McIntyre said. “We had planned going into the game that we were going to use three guys, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do.”
The Bulldogs will host a split doubleheader on Saturday when they play Guerin Catholic and South Dearborn.