Red Sox cruise past Renner Monarchs 12-2 The Vermillion Red Sox's biggest opponent on Tuesday night was not the Renner Monarchs, but Mother Nature.
After an afternoon rain shower, and with storm clouds threatening in the skies above, it was unsure if a game would be played at all. Add to that, the Monarchs only had eight players to take the field.
But the thunderstorms passed Vermillion by, even though there were a few sprinkles at the start of the game. The rain did not last more than a couple of minutes, however, and the game got under way under cloudy skies. The result, however, was bright, as the Red Sox cruised past the Monarchs with a 12-2 win.
The Red Sox struck right away in the bottom of the first as Jim McNaughton smacked a solo homer to give Vermillion a quick 1-0 lead. But Renner evened the score in the top of the second as Matt Schultz blasted a solo home run off of Red Sox starter Scott Sebo.
In the bottom of the second, Vermillion started to pull away. Dusty Moore drew a one-out walk. The next batter, Chad Lavin, hit a grounder to Monarchs shortstop Don Hegge, who mishandled a sure doubleplay ball, then threw wildly to first. Lavin was safe, and Moore advanced to third.
Sebo laced a double to plate Moore and advance Lavin to third. Next up was Kyle Thousand, who smacked a double to leftcenter and brought home Lavin and courtesy runner Jay Merrigan. The Red Sox now led 4-1.
The Monarchs were playing with only two outfielders, but the extra base hits would have found their mark even if Renner had a full complement of fielders.
But the third inning saw the floodgates open for the Red Sox, and the lack of outfielders hurt Renner.
Colby Lessman led off with a single. Monarch's starter Grant Hieb retired Jon Merrigan, then things fell apart for Renner. Ten Vermillion batters in a row reached base, and eight runs would score. The Red Sox unleashed five singles, three doubles, and drew two walks during that onslaught. The two Renner outfielders were run ragged chasing after the numerous balls smashed to the outfield by the Red Sox hitters. Only a groundball doubleplay got Renner out of the third, but Vermillion had a 12-1 advantage.
Renner would scratch out a run off of Sebo in the fourth as Devin Range hit a double which brought home Hegge to make it 12-2.
Renner would threaten in the fifth as an error, hit batter, and walk loaded the bases with just one out. But Sebo fanned Hegge and Schultz to escape the inning with no damage done.
After the scoring barrage early, both pitchers managed to keep the opposing team off of the scoreboard.
Schultz came on to pitch a scoreless sixth for Renner, and Jon Merrigan came on in relief in the seventh, and preserved the lead to end the game after the top of the seventh via the mercy rule.
Sebo picked up the win with six innings of work, fanning six, walking five, surrendering two runs on three hits. Sebo did plunk three batters, but none came around to score.
Hieb was touched for 12 runs, 10 of them earned, in his five innings on the mound for Renner. He gave up 16 hits, three walks, and struck out three. Hieb also uncorked two wild pitches and was called for one balk.
McNaughton led the Red Sox offense with a homer, double, three RBI, and scored twice. Thousand pounded out two doubles and single in addition to driving in three runs. Lessman laced three singles. Jason Huska doubled and singled. Jon Merrigan had two singles.
Schultz homered and singled to lead the Monarchs. Luke Langenfeld reached base in four different ways: a single, hit by pitch, error, and walk.
Renner turned two doubleplays, Vermillion had one twin killing. The Monarchs stranded 11 baserunners, while the Red Sox left seven men on base.
With the win, Vermillion improves to 9-2.
The Red Sox play at Lennox on Saturday at 2 p.m., then host Akron on Father's Day at 7:30 p.m.