Strong pitching, four home runs highlight doubleheader wins
SPOKANE — As season openers go, it was tough to beat the performance turned in by the Sandpoint baseball team in a season opening doubleheader sweep of West Valley on Saturday, the first time all year the Bulldogs have stepped on an actual baseball diamond.
Strong showings at the plate by Trey Flint and Alex Stockton complemented stellar starts from Preston Pettit and Tyler Lehman, as the Bulldogs (2-0) earned a pair of quality wins over the Eagles (0-2) of the Great Northern League.
Sandpoint jumped out early in the opener to take a 6-0 lead after two innings, as Flint, Stockton and Jacob Cometto all smashed home runs, pounding out 11 hits to help claim a 10-3 win. Flint finished with four RBIs and Stockton added three, while Tyler Schaeffer added three runs and two steals and Billy Brackett two runs and a steal to lead a balanced offense.
It was more than enough support for Pettit, who struck out seven and walked none in six scoreless innings of work, allowing just four hits. Stockton started the seventh inning and got in trouble, before Tyrone Larson came in to close things out with a pair of strikeouts in the seventh inning to limit the damage to three runs.
In game two, Lehman took the hill and scattered four hits and walked two over five sharp innings, striking out six and allowing just one earned run. Garrett Connolly pitched the final two frames to earn the save, striking out two West Valley hitters.
Flint hit his second home run in as many games and drove in three, while Stockton added a triple and double among his three hits, as the two will be tough to pitch around all season. Lehman and Schaeffer each picked up a steal in the win, and the defense made just three errors on the day, no small accomplishment after weeks of gym practice.
“Great games overall,” said Bulldogs head coach Chase Tigert. “The pitching was outstanding today.”
Sandpoint’s games with Timberlake scheduled for Tuesday were postponed, and the Bulldogs will travel to Lewiston on Saturday.
Sandpoint 420 103 0 — 10 11 1
West Valley 000 000 3 — 3 4 2
Preston Pettit, Alex Stockton (7), Tyrone Larson (7) and Connor Dodd. W — Pettit (1-0).
HITS: Spt — Lehman, Stockton 2, Cometto, Riley, Flint 3, Schaeffer, Brackett, Pettit. 2B — Pettit and Lehman. HR — Stockton, Cometto and Flint.
Sandpoint 000 200 3 — 5 8 2
West Valley 000 010 1 — 2 8 2
Tyler Lehman, Garrett Connolly (6) and Dodd. W — Lehman (1-0.
HITS: Spt — Stockton 3, Flint 2, Schaeffer, Pettit 2. 2B — Stockton, Flint. 3B — Stockton. HR — Flint.