A fifteen run first inning powered the Galena Bears past the Verona Wildcats 17-0 Friday evening in Galena.
The Bears mixed four hits, with eight Wildcat walks in the inning, to jump out in front of Verona 15-0. Third baseman Logan Sorrell delivered the biggest hit for Galena in the opening frame, a double to left field.
The Bears added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning to close out the games scoring at 17-0.
The victory elevated Galena's season record to 15-2 on the year. The Cats fell to 3-7.
Galena head coach Byron Richardson saw his team's early start as an opportunity to get his young Bears some much needed experience.
"Our kids did a great job of getting their bats going in the first inning," Richardson said. "They made good contact with the ball which helped to get us the early lead. The lead allowed us to give our younger kids some very valuable varsity playing time."
Almost lost in the game, due to the amount of runs the Bears were scoring, was a masterful pitching job by Galena's Coby Sartin. The tall lanky sophomore, a wrong armer, kept the Wildcats in check throughout the game to record a shutout. He gave up just one hit and struckout six en route to running his record up to 3-1 on the year. He had no walks.
Even though Verona entered the game at 3-6 on the season Sartin kept focused on what he had to do to help his team get the win.
"I didn't approach our game with Verona any differently than I do with any other team," Sartin said. "Every game is serious to me. I don't take any days off and I never underestimate anybody. When you start looking past people you can get yourself into trouble in a hurry."
Richardson also liked what he saw in Sartin's effort.
"Coby did a great job of throwing strikes today," Richardson said. "Besides registering six strikeouts he also allowed our defense an opportunity to make some plays behind him."
On the mound for the Wildcats were Eddie Gutierrez and Jonathan Tarkington. The two Wildcat hurlers gave up eight hits to the Bears in absorbing the loss.
While the loss was a tough one for the Wildcats, head coach Fred Lundien saw it as a valuable piece of experience for his young program.
"We're a developing program in only our third year," Lundien said. "Our kids have won three games already this year, in the previous two seasons they won only once. But they're improving and they play hard. After falling behind 15-0 in the first inning they could have given up, but they didn't, they battled the rest of the way. But that's the kind of kids they are and I'm very proud of them for that. "
"Today they played a really great ball club, probably one of the top five in the state," the Wilcat coach went on to say. "Playing a team of this caliber, even in defeat, was a great learning tool for our kids. They got to see how truly great teams perform. One day we want to be one of those teams to."
Verona 0 0 0 0 0 0
Galena 15 0 2 0 x 17
Galena: Logan Sorrell 1-1 (double), Jake Lafevers 1-2, Coby Sartin 1-3, Blake Batson 1-3, Dallas Besperat 1-2, Stewart Logan 1-2, Demarcus Walter 1-1, Caleb McCullough 1-2
Verona: Caleb Hillhouse 1-2