By Maurice Patton
HAMPSHIRE – Staked to a two-run lead, Josh Martin had all the support he needed before he even threw a pitch Monday.
The Santa Fe senior didn’t give back the dozen extra runs his offense provided him, though, in a 14-1, five-inning District 10-A victory at Hampshire.
“Going in, Coach (Rip Baxter) told us to be the aggressor – not to wait till they threw the first punch, for us to throw the first punch,” Martin said. “We wanted to get the bats going and give me a cushion.
“We swung the bats, one through nine.”
The Wildcats (4-1-1, 1-0 10-A) clawed Hampshire’s Blake Morrow and Errette Delk for 12 hits, with senior third baseman Peyton Wilhelm’s 3-for-4, four-RBI effort leading the way offensively. Martin and classmate Logan Wilkins each added a pair of hits, driving in two runs apiece with three doubles between them, and junior Ryan Seltz went 2-for-3 with two runs scored out of the No. 9 spot in the batting order.
“Our goal is to score one (run) an inning, but we hope to play for the big inning,” Baxter said after the visitors added five runs in the second – keyed by a Colton Steward two-run base hit – and six in the third as Martin drove in a couple.
“We had a couple of big innings in the second and third, scored a few there. That’s probably the best game we’ve had hitting.”
Martin, meanwhile, kept the Hawks (1-5, 0-1) in check offensively – striking out nine and allowing just two hits. Hampshire cut into the deficit in the bottom of the first, as Delk reached on an error and scored on one, but the hosts didn’t pick up their first hit until Delk’s two-out triple in the fourth. Jesse Caddy singled with one out in the fifth, but Santa Fe followed with a game-ending double play.
“Josh has pitched here since he was a freshman,” Baxter said. “That’s probably the best game he’s had.”
Though Hampshire coach Blake Rochelle was concerned with his team’s performance at the plate, he was more bothered by the Hawks’ five errors.
“We put the ball in play,” he said. “We quit hitting. We were looking for the perfect pitch and got too picky, but it’s still early. Our hitting will come along.
“Errors are what hurt us. But we live to fight another day. We’ll wash this one out and get ready for (Tuesday).”
The two teams are scheduled to play Tuesday at Santa Fe.
Santa Fe 14, Hampshire 1 (5 inn.)
S 256 01 – 14 12 2
H 100 00 – 1 2 5
Josh Martin and Colton Steward. Blake Morrow, Errette Delk (3) and Jed Page. W: Martin. L: Morrow.
Photos by Ric Beu / SM-Tn Sports