Dale settles in for 14-4 home rout of Morrison

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Dale leadoff man Ike Shirey executes a bunt-single against Morrison Monday night.

DALE – After a shaky top half of the first inning, the Dale Pirates settled into a hitting, pitching and defensive groove to run-rule the Morrison Wildcats 14-4 in five innings on Monday.

Dale, which improved to 14-2 with the victory, spotted Morrison a 3-0 advantage in the top of the first, only to send 11 batters to the plate and score seven runs in the bottom half of that frame to take control.

The Pirates committed an error to lead off the game as the Wildcats also drew a walk and a hit batsman to go with two hits in building that 3-0 lead.

“Everything was good after the first (half of an inning). Defensively, we had the leadoff error and we got behind in the count. But we battled through it,” said Dale head coach Eddie Jeffcoat. “We pitched well after that. We hit the ball really well. Even in the inning we didn't score (the fourth), we hit the ball hard on all three outs.”

Six of the Pirates' 13 total hits went for extra bases, including one triple and five doubles. Five Dale players – Ike Shirey, Dallen Forsythe, Cole Capps, Tate Rector and Connor Kuykendall - had two hits apiece.

After surrendering a two-run single and a double in the first inning, Kuykendall settled down from the mound and allowed just two hits (both in the third inning) the rest of the way. In going the five complete innings, Kuykendall allowed the four hits and one walk while recording a strikeout. He, along with the defense, retired the side in the second, fourth and fifth innings.

Morrison secured the early 3-0 lead, highlighted by Briggs Roe's two-run single.

Dale then went on a seven-run scoring rampage in the bottom of the first as Shirey executed a magnificent bunt single to lead off the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks by Forsythe and Carson Hunt quickly loaded up the bases.

Then with one out, Cole Capps ripped a two-run single up the middle to cut the Pirate deficit to 3-2. Hunter later scored off a wild pitch. Kash VanBrunt then drew a walk and Rector doubled to right field to lift the Dale advantage to 5-3. A two-run double to right-center by Cade Capps made it 7-3 through one frame.

The Pirates picked up an unearned run in the second as Cade McQuain reached on an error, stole second and later scored off Rector's single to right-center for an 8-3 Dale cushion.

Morrison picked up its final run in the third.

The Pirates picked up three more scores in the third off two hits and with the help of two Wildcat errors. Forsythe's run-scoring double was the highlight of the frame.

Dale then capped off the scoring with three more runs in the fifth as Forsythe's leadoff triple set the table. Forsythe later scored off a wild pitch, McQuain hit a run-scoring double and McQuain scored off an error to end the game.

Forsythe, Cole Capps and Kuykendall each finished 2-for-3 from the plate while Shirey and Rector were each 2-for-4. Cole Capps, Rector and Cade Capps each knocked in two runs while Shirey, Forsythe and McQuain had one RBI apiece.