HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The wind was unchecked. And the Jefferson offense was unchecked last Thursday when the baseball Cougars powered four home runs and had the complete-game pitching of A.J. Boyd to stagger St. Maria Goretti, 19-2.
An eight-run first inning made the season-opener much easier for the experienced Cougars. Kalen Nehler, a first-year senior, had a three-run homer early in the inning and Anthony DiAmario finished the scoring with his three-run home run.
The Cougar first progressed because of the four walks they received.
Jefferson would eventually score in every turn in the abbreviated five-inning game.
Three more walks aided the two-run second.
Andrew King, Andrew Grove and Nehler had extra base hits in the three-run third.
King clubbed a three-run home run and Brandt Petrie unloaded a solo shot in the five-run fourth that moved Jefferson’s lead to 18-0.
Young pinch hitters were by now dotting the Jefferson batting order.
Boyd struggled some with his control in the raw conditions, but even though he walked three and hit a man he had a no-hitter through four innings. The Gaels had managed to get the ball out of the infield only once and that was a flyout to left.
Boyd, who fanned only two, surrendered consecutive ground singles to begin the Gael fifth. His pickoff throw to first with nobody covering the base allowed both runners to move up. And they both scored on consecutive ground outs.
The Cougars got four RBIs from Nehler, three from DiAmario and King and two from Grove. King, Grove and Nehler each had two of the 12 hits the Cougars combed off three different Goretti pitchers.
The only thing keeping pace with Jefferson was the unrelenting wind. And the Cougars even had heating units on their open bench in attempting to stay warm.