By Doug Gorman
The Ola Mustangs showed Friday afternoon why they are one of the favorites to win the Region 4-AAAA baseball title.
Ola overcame cold, blustery conditions to score at least one run in every inning but the fifth.
On top of its solid offensive performance, Ola also picked up strong pitching performances out of starter Mike Venturelli and reliever Grant Perkins.
Venturelli strukout six batters through four innings and Perkins five batters in the two innings he threw.
It all translated into a 11-1 victory against rival Dutchtown in a region battle called after six innings by the mercy rule.
Ola improved its record to 12-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. With the loss, Dutchtown dropped to 3-9 overall and 1-3 in the region.
"We did a really good job of hitting the ball today, and our pitchers came up big" Ola head coach Ryan Parejko said. "Anytime you can get a region win and it's less than seven innings, you can't ask for much more than that,"
The victory sets the table for a Region 4-AAAA clash against Alcovy on the road Monday. The early-season showdown could go along way in determining who wins the league title. Both teams will enter Monday's contest undefeated in region action.
"We have talked all season how no one game is bigger than any other," Parejko said. "They have been listening. N ow we have go out there and think about beating Alcovy."
Ola picked up a big day at the plate from designated hitter Bobby Woodall who went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and a homer to pace an offense where everyone in the line up reached at least once,
His base hit in the first inning knocked in DeCota Cole, who had reached on an error earlier to start the scoring.
The Mustangs added two more runs to their side of the scoreboard in the second inning when Perkins and Neal Gandee each reached and later scored to give Ola a 3-0 lead.
Dutchtown cut the lead to 3-1 in top of the third when lead-off hitter Brandon Ervin ripped the ball down the right field line for a double. Zach Babischkin kept the inning alive with a single and the Bulldogs scored their only run of the game.
Ola increased its lead to 5-1 in the third. Dylan McCarter and Kyle Beech scored runs for the Mustangs and Gandee had an RBI double to keep the offensive explosion alive.
Led by Woodall's solo home run to start the fourth, the Mustangs batted around and scored four times to increase their lead to 9-1. Cameron Lewis' RBI single and Beech's RBI triple helped the cause.
The Mustangs ended the game by the mercy rule when it loaded the bases on walks and Woodalll then brought the final two runs home with a double.