Tooele sent 10 batters to the box in a six-run fifth inning to beat Ben Lomond 8-0 at home Friday.
“Finally that fifth inning came around, and I think they were just sick of being shut out,” first-year head coach Nolan Strouder said after the win. “They finally did something about it.”
The Buffaloes strung four hits to start the inning. Tooele catcher Cody Whitehouse hit a leadoff double that dropped into the right-field gap. He was hit in by second baseman Mason Hansen’s single to right six pitches later. Center fielder Blake Paystrup singled through the middle, and starting pitcher Dalton Harris laid down a bunt for an infield single when Ben Lomond second baseman Brennan Green failed to cover first on the no-throw play.
Designated hitter McKay Pollmann was hit by a pitch that sent Paystrup across the plate two at bats later. First baseman Zach Dean hit a single through the left side that scored two more in the next at bat.
It was the last of reliever Trenton Pinkerton, who gave up six runs on five hits in two innings and 46 pitches.
“I think the guys showed up today a little laxed,” Strouder said, noting the two total hits in the first four innings. “We had a good win against Provo the other day. Today I think they just thought winning was just going to continue, they didn’t have to put it all on the line from inning one.”
“I just think the mindset today wasn’t quite there from the get-go,” he added, “but it picked up there towards the end.”
The loss was given to starter Tristan Hartman, who struck out one Tooele batter to start off the third inning but walked the next three. Hansen advanced to third on a wild pitch, then crossed the plate after another to make it 1-0 Tooele.
Harris earned the W for Tooele, facing 11 batters through the first three innings. He struck out five, walked two and hit one batter in his 49 pitches.
Tooele reliever Dallin Kimball came on for another three innings, facing the minimum while recording three strikeouts in 31 pitches. Pollmann closed, giving up a leadoff double and walking Pinkerton — though Whitehouse threw him out trying to steal second base. Pollmann struck out third baseman Derek Mitchell and retired first baseman Conner Walton to end the game on 15 pitches.
Paystrup led the Tooele bats, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. He stole third in the sixth inning and later scored one of his two runs.
Harris went 1-for-3 with a run and stolen base. Right fielder Justin Butler went 1-for-3 and was replaced by pinch runner Dakota Calvin, who scored twice in the game — once as a speed-up runner for Whitehouse in the big fifth inning.
Left fielder Lane Steed went hitless with one strikeout. Pollmann went 1-for-2 with a run. Dean went 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Kimball went hitless in three at bats.
Whitehouse went 1-for-3 with a double and a run, striking out twice. Hansen went 1-for-2 with a pair of runs.
Ben Lomond was limited to one hit all day and three runners left on base.
“I thought the whole team did a great job, especially the guys that touched the mound,” Strouder said. “I was impressed with all the guys on the mound. Our defense was great. Hitting was definitely the weakest link today, but as a whole if we compete and win, that’s all I care about.”
The win helped bring Tooele to 3-0 to start the season, having beaten Provo 11-8 in the season opener on the road and Highland on the road Monday, an 8-3 win in which Tooele scored five runs in the fourth inning.
Tooele is next scheduled to face 1-2 Hunter at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at home.