The Highland baseball Bulldogs were rude guests after traveling to Roxana and battering the Shells 29-0 in five innings Friday to start the season 2-0.
Highland roughed up five Roxana (1-4) pitchers for the 29 runs, 27 of them earned, on 26 hits — 13 of them extra-base hits — and nine walks.
The Bulldogs had 18 players get plate appearances, and an eye-popping 11 different players collected two hits apiece.
Highland scored five times in its first at-bat and followed that up with an even bigger parade around the bases with 10 runs scoring in the second and nine more coming home in the third before the Bulldogs closed it out with a three-run fourth and a two-run fifth.
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Dylan Knebel, Colten Knebel, Connor Pinsker, Elliott Prott, Garrett Marti and Jacob Willis all went a perfect 2-for-2, while Mitchell Focht, Steven Diaz, Brock Troxell, Jake Ramsey and Jonathan Dickman also each rapped out two hits.
Dylan Knebel inflicted the most damage by driving in four runs. He also had a double and scored two runs.
Dickman produced three RBIs, two walks and two runs, while Focht (home run), Diaz (one double, one triple), Pinsker (two doubles), Marti (one triple), Prott (one double), Ramsey and Luke Landmann all knocked in two runs apiece.
Ramsey scored a game-best three runs. Joining Dylan Knebel with two runs apiece were Pinsker, Diaz, Troxell, Focht, Dickman, Landmann, Marti and Miachel Riffel.
The Roxana pitching trio of starter Zach Golenor, Griffen Brock and Brayden Davis were shelled the worst by the Bulldogs’ big bats. Golenor was pinned for the loss after being clubbed for nine earned runs in just 1 1/3 innings, while Brock fared even worse after being struck for eight earned runs in only 1/3 of an inning, and six earned runs in only 2/3 of an inning.
Conversely, Highland used four different pitchers — Peyton Waldman, Diaz, Dustin Phelps and Focht — to shut Roxana out on just one hit and two walks with six strikeouts.
In the Bulldogs’ first at-bat, Troxell ignited the five-run rally with a leadoff triple to right field. Willis, Dylan Knebel and Prott added doubles in the frame, while Pinsker was hit by a pitch and Marti and Evan Herman both drew a walk in the frame.
In the second inning, Highland sent 16 batters to the plate and piled on 10 runs on 11 hits and two walks. All 11 hits came in succession following a one-out walk from Willis. The hits in order were a double from Pinsker, a two-run triple from Marti, a RBI single from Knebel, a RBI single from Prott, a double from Herman, a two-run double from Diaz, a RBI double from Troxell, a single from Dickman, a RBI single from Willis, a two-run double from Pinsker, and a single from Marti.
The Bulldogs sent another 14 hitters to the plate in the third and nine of them coming all the way around to score on four hits, four bases on balls, three hit batsmen, one wild pitch and one error.
This time, it was Diaz who got sparked the huge rally with a leadoff triple to center. Riffel, Ramsey and Nick Schaible each had a RBI single in the inning.
In Highland’s three-run fourth, Riffel led off by being hit by a pitch and Focht doubled to center to set the table. Ramsey followed with a single to plate Riffel and after Schaible walked, Colten Knebel singled to center to score Focht and hit a single to center to drive home Ramsey.
In the two-run fifth, Focht powered up for a one-out solo home run to center field for the team’s first round-tripper of the season. Later on in the inning, Dickman lined a run-scoring single to left. to wrap up the scoring in the game.