FARMINGTON — Weather didn't interfere with Friday's tilt between Strike Zone Morrissey and Strike Zone Scanlan like it did Thursday, but the result again went in SZ Morrissey's favor all the same.
One night after winning 3-0 in a rain-shortened contest, SZ Morrissey kept SZ Scanlan off the scoreboard for the second straight night, picking up the 10-0 win at Ricketts Park.
Thunder and lightning threatened late in the game, but SZ Morrissey was able to score enough runs to trigger the five-inning rule before the rain came down. The victory was keyed by a three-run first inning, in which SZ Morrissey stole a whopping five bases.
SZ Scanlan coach Alex Scanlan said he thought starting pitcher Alex Vigil didn't do a good job of keeping base runners in check in the top of the first inning.
"We didn't control the running game one bit; (Vigil) had no slide step, and he literally paid zero attention to any of the runners on base that whole first inning," Scanlan said. "If you do that, they'll steal at will the whole time. You don't give your catcher a chance at all."
Vigil walked Lawrence Mayberry and Matt Knickerbocker — the first two batters of the game — and allowed them to pull a double steal.
Mayberry came around to score on a sacrifice grounder off the bat of Justin Rowe, and Rowe scored later on a passed ball. Beamer Wick hit a sac fly in the inning to score Austin Ely, who reached base on the same passed ball that Rowe scored on.
SZ Scanlan couldn't bounce back from the sloppy start in the second, where SZ Morrissey stole two more bases during an inning that saw them put five runners on base. Mayberry and Knickerbocker each collected RBI hits in the inning to put SZ Morrissey ahead 5-0 after two frames.
SZ Morrissey coach Adam Morrissey said his team put some good at-bats together in the early going.
"We came out with a good approach against the starter and put a lot of pressure on their pitcher on the base paths," he said. "When we saw he was a bit slow to the plate, we took advantage."
SZ Morrissey scored three more times in the third inning, highlighted by a Rylann Deyapp RBI single, then put the finishing touches on the lopsided win with two runs in the fifth.
Luke Duggan relieved Vigil for SZ Scanlan before the fourth inning and wound up allowing only one earned run over two innings.
Easton Haskill threw a complete-game shutout, but Morrissey said he didn't think the right-hander from Farmington had his best stuff.
"He worked hard today. He got a couple double plays in big situations to help us out," he said. "So he labored a bit, but he battled hard to make up for it and did a really great job."
SZ Scanlan put runners on the corners in the bottom of the second before Haskill was able to coax a double play ball out of Luis DeLeon. SZ Scanlan struggled to create rallies, sending four hitters or fewer to the plate in every inning.
"We tried to pull outside pitches a bit too much," Scanlan said. "What I preach is, we have to hit the ball off the ground when we get a rally going. We pulled outside pitches, rolled into a couple double plays and watched those innings end, just like that."
The two Strike Zone clubs will do battle again today at noon. SZ Morrissey will send Dayne Rowley to the mound, and SZ Scanlan will counter with Trae Jaqua.
Scanlan said his team has to play with more fire today if it hopes to steal a game from SZ Morrissey.
"We came out flat for whatever reason," he said. "We have to come out with a chip on our shoulder, forget about what happened today and play the way we're capable of playing."