Peyton Buckner turned in one his best performances of the season during an 11-1 mercy-rule win for the MTCS baseball team against Moore County on Monday.
The junior pitcher allowed no earned runs and scattered three hits with four strikeouts in his six-inning complete-game victory. But his performance didn’t stop on the mound.
Buckner (2-2) also finished 3-for-4 at the plate with and an RBI.
“It was just an all-around good effort by our team,” Buckner said. “We only made one error. I thought that was key. I know when I get it going on the mound, we’ve got a chance to win but with a defense like that behind me, we’re hard to beat.”
MTCS (10-12, 4-5 District 9-A) jumped on Moore County early, batting around and scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Moore County (1-8 9-A), the last-place team in 9-A, never really threatened the Cougars’ lead after that as Buckner and the rest of Cougars’ lineup slowly and steadily pulled away.
“Early, I thought we came out of the gates well,” MTCS coach Jamie Carver said. “I thought we showed up and that’s what we’ve been working on, trying to show up every game from the very beginning in the top of the first inning.”
MTCS added its fifth run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Phillip Jones scored his second run of the game on an error by Moore County third baseman Gage Mason to push the lead to 5-0.
The Raiders plated their only run of the game one-half inning later in the top of the fifth when Lee Huffed scored an unearned run on an error by MTCS shortstop Griffin Harper that trimmed the lead to 5-1.
That was as close as Moore County got, as MTCS batted around again in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor Garner, Will Barham, Perry Patton and Austin Melton all scored runs to push the Cougars’ lead to 9-1 entering the sixth inning.
Patton finished 2-for-3 with a triple, one run scored and three RBI.
“Coach Carver always talks about how we need to have the right mindset before the game,” Patton said. “He makes sure we’re prepared mentally and everything and I think that really helped us tonight.
“We came out focused from the start and we took care of business (Monday).”
After a 1-2-3 top of the sixth by Buckner on the mound, MTCS ended the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Patton’s triple scored Garner to provide the final 11-1 margin.
Garner finished with three runs scored as a courtesy runner for Buckner and Melton finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
James Dougherty took the loss for Moore County.
MTCS 11, Moore County 1
Moore County 000 010 – 1 3 5
MTCS 400 142 – 11 10 5
James Doughtery, Chris Nix (6) and Sammy Adcock. Peyton Buckner and Justin Winn. WP: Buckner (2-2). LP: Doughtery.