TROY — While the newer restricted flight bats have affected other metro-east baseball players, Triad High senior slugger Keaton Wright apparently has immunity.
Wright slammed two doubles and drove in two runs and Cody Massey added a solo homer Monday as the Knights blanked Althoff 3-0.
In the last three years, Wright has 11 home runs and 107 RBIs -- and he's only seven games into his senior year.
"The big key is breaking in the bats the way that you like it," said Wright, a senior first baseman and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville recruit. "My dad and I come out every single day, we hit and get better. Once you break in the bat and you grow attached to it, you're going to like it."
The four-year starter is such a known commodity he rarely sees more than one good pitch, if that, in an at-bat.
"That one pitch, if I see it, I hope to take it for a ride," said Wright, who had RBI doubles in the first and fifth inning and is hitting .480 (12-for-25) with five doubles, one homer and 10 RBIs.
"With these bats, for him to put two off the wall is saying a lot," Althoff coach Brett Isaacs said. "It's nice for a team to have a kid like that in the middle of your lineup -- and really nice to have kids behind him that can swing it pretty well, too. It keeps you from pitching around him all the time."
Both teams got well-pitched games, with Triad starter Richie Boatman and Althoff starter Atlee Champion allowing only nine total hits.
Boatman was a bit sharper, allowing just three hits over six shutout innings. Those three hits represented Althoff's only baserunners since Boatman didn't issue any walks and the Knights were strong defensively.
"That was a really good first start," Triad coach Jesse Bugger said. "I thought he was very efficient. He threw multiple pitches for strikes and the defense played well behind him."
Isaacs said the Crusaders (3-4) could never find a rhythm offensively against Boatman.
"We couldn't get a leadoff man and they played very well defensively," Isaacs said. "When we did hit it hard, it seemed like it was right at them. We hit some shots and we just couldn't catch a break. If we get one or two of those, then hopefully it snowballs, but today it didn't happen."
Triad (5-2) lost a doubleheader Saturday for the first time since 2005, dropping games to Belleville West (2-0) and Moline (5-1).
"Everything that we didn't do on Saturday, we did today defensively," Bugger said. "We made plays when we needed to. I didn't think we made any real spectacular plays, but we made every routine play."
Dalton Johnson reached on an error in the first and scored when Wright pounded a double to the gap in right-center.
Althoff's Bryce Richter had a two-out double in the fourth, but Boatman struck out Champion to end the threat. The Crusaders had only one baserunner the rest of the way.
Massey homered to right leading off the fourth inning and could see a lot to hit if teams try to pitch around Wright.
"I think Keaton's an exceptional hitter and he's a four-year starter, but Cody's a three-year starter and he's going to be a college player," Bugger said. "He's a good hitter, as good as we have besides Keaton. I figure if we put him there that will hopefully keep people somewhat honest.
"It's a nice little 1-2 punch right there if we can get them both going at the same time."
Isaacs was pleased with the work of Champion, who allowed five hits and three runs in five innings.
"I thought Atlee was outstanding," Isaacs said. "For a kid who hadn't pitched but one inning for us coming into the game, you never know what to expect. But I thought he really looked good and came a long way and really competed well."