AAABA League leader Laurel Auto Group sent 14 batters to the plate in the second inning to jump ahead of Ophthalmic Associates Tuesday night at Roxbury Park and never looked back on its way to a 12-1 five-inning victory.
“We’ve been swinging the bats pretty well so far and had some pretty big innings so far this summer,” Laurel manager Mark Thomchick said. “Hats off to our guys. They just attack fast balls and are pretty aggressive. We had some fast ball counts and took some good swings.”
Laurel (8-2), which pounded out 14 hits including six for extra bases against four Ophthalmic pitchers, scored 10 runs in the second on nine hits with an error by Ophthalmic to stake pitcher Logan Urtz to a comfortable lead.
“It seemed like I had pretty good command of my fast ball,” Urtz said. “I was able to work in and out and up and down. My curve ball was also there and it helped keep them off balance. When you have a big lead you can go out there and fill up the zone and attack hitters with strikes. It just gives you all the confidence in the world to let your defense work behind you.”
“He did a good job,” Thomchick said about his right hander, who scattered four hits with three strikeouts and two walks. “He’s a seasoned guy and had a really good year at Seton Hill and he came in here and throws strikes. He throws his off speed for strikes. He does a nice job of attacking hitters.”
Ophthalmic (1-8) scored its run in the bottom of the second. Jake Stover walked and went to second on a Josh Bracken single. Ryan Robinette’s single plated Stover to cut the Laurel lead to 10-1.
But Laurel, which has a half-game lead over Martella’s Pharmacy, replied with two more runs in the top of the fifth, including a solo home run by Collin Laguzza.
Ben Webb was 4-for-4 while Urtz and Gordon Barr were both 2-for-3 for Laurel. In addition to Laguzza’s homer, Laurel got a pair of doubles from Urtz and one each from Nathan Mori, Zac Heide and Mike Nowicki.
“We’ve gotten off to a good start,” Thomchick said about his team’s early success. “We’re fighting through some injuries right now and we’re hoping to get a few guys back here in the coming weeks but the guys have done a good job early. I think we are meshing. Hopefully we can keep it going as the season progresses and play our very best baseball towards the end of the season.”
Cameron Kaminsky and Tyler Black had Ophthalmic’s other two hits.
“This season has been a season of one bad inning each game and what happens is we get into a hole and we just can’t climb out,” Ophthalmic manager Jason Kaminsky said. “The No. 1 thing with that is that you have to play better defense and we have to pitch a little better. It’s hard to hit when you’re climbing out of a hole.
“This team is never going to quit. We’ve got players here that are glad to be playing baseball and are talented individuals. Right now we’re struggling a little bit but I do believe we will put it all together because we’re better than this and each player is better than this and we just have to play more like a team.”
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/CoryIsenbergTD.