MILFORD — When it comes to the Milford city rivalry, the records can easily be thrown away. With both Foran and Law entering the contest with identical records, something had to give in the first meeting between the two teams.
It took all of two innings for Law to set the tone, scoring twice in each of the first two innings en route to a thorough 11-0 win over the Lions at Jonathan Law Saturday morning.
The Eagles took advantage of eight walks, one hit batter and five Lion errors.
Law’s Kevin Johnson pitched six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, walking one and striking out seven while Rich Dow closed it out with a perfect seventh.
“Foran always comes out and battles,” Law coach Greg Simler said after his team improved to 2-1. “Any time you play a Garrett Walker team, you know they will always be prepared. We have a lot of respect for them.”
The tone was set in the first inning. After Sam Olsson reached on a three-base error on the game’s first pitch, Foran was unable to bring Olsson home.
Johnson struck out Joe Radecki, then got R.J. Jackson on a grounder to third where Olsson was thrown out after a rundown. Jackson moved to second on the play but was left stranded when Tyler Chacho grounded to first two batters later.
“It was a big jolt for them,” Foran coach Garrett Walker said after his team fell to 1-2. “We left a guy on after he gets to third and that could have changed the dynamic to our side. Instead, they came in and scored and it was on their side.”
Law responded in its half of the inning against Foran pitcher Andrew Nolan, using two hits, an error and a pair of walks to take a 2-0 lead.
With two on and no one out, Nolan walked Jim Palmer and Johnson in succession to force in Mack Taylor, who had reached on an error to start the inning. Dow hit a one-out sacrifice fly to force in Palmer for a 2-0 lead.
The Lions and Nolan escaped further damage when Johnson was thrown out at the plate on Dillon Rocha’s single to center.
Law increased the lead to 4-0 without the benefit of a hit in the second inning. Nolan walked the first two batters of the inning, before uncorking a wild pitch to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Law capitalized when Taylor’s sacrifice fly scored Rob Griswold and an error at short on a ball hit by Palmer allowed Tim Maher to score.
Law again had a chance to get more in the inning but a perfect relay on a fly ball by Kurt Holden turned into an inning-ending double play.
“The fact is we walked too many guys and we made too many errors,” Walker said. “We did not play our best game. Once we put our best game together, we will be a good team.”
The Lions had another chance to get on the scoreboard in the third inning, but once again could not come up with a big hit. Radecki was hit by a pitch with one out and Jackson doubled to left to put a pair of runners in scoring position.
Johnson kept Foran off the board, striking out Dillon Brown looking and getting Chacho on a grounder to third to end the inning.
“Kevin Johnson came up big for us,” Simler said. “The first inning was huge when they got the leadoff guy on. That set the tone for us. He got some big outs early on.”
The Lions never threatened again with the game in hand. Law put the contest away with a run in the fourth on Dow’s run-scoring single and six in the fifth.
Griswold reached on an error in the fifth and scored on Maher’s double to end the day for Nolan. With Dylan Bartel on to pitch, Taylor greeted him with a run-scoring single to score Maher.
Jake Rouse doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position, before a wild pitch scored Taylor. Palmer then launched a long home run to left for a 10-0 lead.
“There were moments in the game where I thought we should have been able to hit the ball better,” Simler said. “But, I am very satisfied with the way we capitalized.”
Rouse led Law with three hits, while Rocha had a pair of hits and an RBI. Jackson and Nick Tuozzola picked up Foran’s only hits.