Wilcox Legion wins season opener

WILCOX – The Wilcox American Legion baseball team overwhelmed Smethport for an 11-0, 5-inning victory Monday night at Jones Township Community Park in the season opener of American Legion play. Wilcox put the throttle down with a 7-run third inning after already establishing a 3-0 lead in the second inning. "I'll take the win no matter how I get it," Wilcox coach Jeff Peterson said. "I still think we started out slow, I think we're still jelling, getting everybody together in the batting lineup. It's tough subbing, we have some good kids that we're subbing and we got to work into the games. Overall, we will come hit the ball the way we're supposed to and I'm expecting big things out of this group. We're solid from top to bottom." Mitchell Holmberg started things off with a 1-out single to right field. Josh Mitchell walked and Joe Holmberg scorched a line drive to right field to plate Mitchell Holmberg and push Mitchell from first to third on the play. Quinn Luhr walked to load the bases. Mitchell would score on a wild pitch to push the Wilcox advantage to 5-0. Ben MacDonald roped a ball to shortstop which went under the glove and into the outfield, plating Joe Holmberg and Luhr for a 7-0 lead. Cameron Grumley and Frank Kocjancic each singled to load up the bases again. Cole Peterson hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score MacDonald for Wilcox's eighth run. Jesse Reynolds singled home Grumley and Kocjancic which pushed the lead to 10-0 after three innings. MacDonald walked with one out in the fourth and then stole second. He scored his third run of the game on a single from CJ Herbstritt. MacDonald reached base three times and had one RBI. Mitchell made an impact on the mound and at the dish in the opening innings. Mitchell opened the scoring with a long solo home run to center field to lead off the second inning. On the mound, Mitchell pitched three no-hit innings with four strikeouts. Smethport's only runner came in the third inning as a runner reached on an error. After Mitchell's second inning home run, Wilcox wasn't done tallying runs. Luhr struck out but reached base on a dropped third strike and took second on a poor throw to first. MacDonald singled up the middle to score Luhr and push Wilcox's lead to 2-0. Kocjancic would hit a bloop double to left field which scored MacDonald for a 3-0 Wilcox lead. Complementing Mitchell's strong performance on the mound was two shutout innings from Peterson in which he recorded six strikeouts. Eight different players for Wilcox recorded hits with Kocjancic notching two hits. Eight different players also received credit for at least one RBI with Reynolds driving in two. Seven different players for Wilcox crossed the plate at least once with Mitchell and Luhr scoring two runs and MacDonald touching home plate three times. Wilcox (1-0) is scheduled to host Fox Township at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Jones Township Community Park. "It's going to take a couple games until we get in the rhythm and everybody gets together but right now, we got a good group of athletes playing together," coach Peterson said. "We got the pitching, we got lots of pitching. We're going to be in good shape. Defensively, we're really strong in every position."