The Haywood Tomcat baseball team came into the season knowing it had the potential to be a contender for the District 15-AA championship.
The Tomcats returned some very strong pitching from last year’s team to go along with an offense displaying power hitting and speed on the base paths.
The Tomcats displayed some outstanding pitching on Monday as well, giving up one run while picking up the District 15-AA win over the Liberty Tech Crusaders by the score of 9-1.
Haywood pitcher Dustin Staggs dominated on the mound for the Tomcats as he struck out 13 batters over six innings pitched.
“Dustin has been an outstanding pitcher for us this year,” Haywood head coach Tyler Newman said. “He does a great job of pounding the strike zone and hitting his locations. He has pitched very well for us in every game. He also has a great defense behind him allowing him to relax out there on the mound.”
Staggs struck out five straight batters in the fourth and fifth innings.
Haywood also showed its ability to get on base and score in a variety of ways as well.
The Tomcats got their first run in the bottom of the second inning as Haywood’s Noah Alexandar stole third and advanced home on a throwing error.
The Tomcats erupted for six more runs in the top of the third.
Staggs helped himself in the inning by hitting a line drive into the gap, scoring two of the six runs in the inning.
“We have a very deep lineup,” Newman said. “All of these guys take a disciplined approach to the plate and do a great job of hitting. We have a very solid group of hitters one through nine in this lineup.”
Haywood added two more runs in the fifth.
“This win moves us to 10-4 on the season and into a three-way tie for first in in the district with Covington and Ripley,” Newman said. “We just need to keep our focus, and everything else will take care of itself. We have a great group of guys that have the ability to take us into a deep postseason run.”
Haywood will host Liberty Tuesday in the second game of the series.