FREDERICK — The Erie baseball team entered Thursday's game as a top-30 Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) team and improved its standing with a win over rival Frederick.
Leading up to the contest, the Tigers coaches were working right up until game time on figuring out the optimal lineup for the day. Head coach Harold Simmons figured they must have found it once he had watched his team hammer out 16 hits to pick up its third straight win, a 12-2 victory over the Warriors.
"I thought the middle of our lineup really hit the heck out of it today," Simmons said. "We have a few guys who have really just been crushing the baseball and we stayed hot today. We're doing a nice job, our culture is good and the kids have bought into each other. We're seeing it start to come together."
Of the many hot bats in the Erie lineup right now, Simmons said senior Clint Allen's has been the hottest. Allen went 4 for 5 at the plate against Frederick, and while doing so had a triple, a pair of doubles, scored twice and drove in two runs.
Josh Crites, Nick Gavit and Matt Sorenson also had multiple hits for the Tigers while Luke Conilogue drove in four runs.
After Erie (3-2, 2-0 Tri-Valley) sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs to kick off the first inning, the Warriors (1-7, 1-4 Tri-Valley) sent seven batters to plate and scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. But responding well to giving up the early runs, Tigers starter Josh Crites settled in to allow just two hits over his next three scoreless innings. Gavin Sackett took over for Crites in the fifth inning and did not allow a hit in his two scoreless frames.
"They came back and answered our three right back," Simmons said. "Josh got hit pretty hard in the first two innings against Holy Family, too. But he's obviously a high-end player and a great kid for us and he's great at making adjustments. He tweaked a couple things today and came back out there much stronger."
Thursday's loss was the third in a row for the Warriors, who lasted six innings before the 10-run mercy rule ended the game. Bryce Shirley, Evan Prestwich, Justin Smith, Brayden Cartwright and Avery Elkins combined for the Warriors' five hits.
Erie and Frederick will play the second game of their Tri-Valley League home-and-away at Erie High School on Saturday. The game will start at 3 p.m.
Erie 12, Frederick 2
At Frederick H.S.
Erie (3-2, 2-0) 310 602 — 12 16 1
Frederick (1-7, 1-4) 200 000 — 2 5 3
W — Crites. L — Prestwich.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Josh Crites 4-4-3-1, Clint Allen 5-2-4-2, Luke Conilogue 3-1-1-4, Nick Gavit 4-1-3-1, Zach Elliston 4-1-1-0, Victory Villa 4-1-1-0, Matt Sorenson 3-0-2-1, Ryley Deckert 2-0-0-1, Hunter Nelson 2-1-0-1, Ruben Portillo 4-1-1-0. Totals 35-12-16-11. 2B — Allen 2, Crites. 3B — Conilogue, Allen. SB — Conilogue, Gavit, Allen.
Frederick hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Trevor Hazlett 2-1-0-0, Bryce Shirley 3-1-1-0, Evan Prestwich 2-0-1-1, Westlee Powers 0-0-0-0, Justin Smith 2-0-1-0, Mario Ramirez 3-0-0-0, Brayden Cartwright 3-0-1-1, Dalton Nelson 3-0-0-0, Tyler Couser 2-0-0-0, Avery Elkins 3-0-1-0. Totals 23-2-5-2. SB — Powers.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Josh Crites 4-5-2-2-1-2, Gavin Sackett 2-0-0-0-1-2.
Frederick pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Evan Prestwich 3.1-12-10-9-2-4, Avery Elkins 2.2-4-2-0-0-0.