Timely hitting had been the missing piece of the puzzle for Coronado’s baseball team during its first five games.
On Monday, the Cougars put it all together.
Coronado scored eight runs in the top of the first inning on the way to a 14-3 road victory over Palo Verde in the Lion Kickoff Tournament.
“We’ve got to swing the bats still,” Coronado coach David Padilla said. “That was the part that was hurting us in the first five games. Our bats just weren’t there. Today, though, we finally put it together. We hit with people in scoring position. We left runner after runner (stranded) in the first five games.
“When you leave a small army on the basepaths, you have problems.”
Coronado (4-2) got big hits right off the bat, cleaning up the first runners it put on base. After Tyler Brown led off with a single, Dillon Fahr doubled into the gap in right-center field to put the Cougars on the board.
One out later, Cody Howard drove a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence to make it 3-0. Coronado added RBI singles by James Anderson and Miles Bice, got another run when Brown walked with the bases loaded, and two more scored on an error.
Coronado sent 13 batters to the plate in scoring eight runs before Palo Verde had come to the plate.
“Today we swung the bat real well,” Padilla said. “It always helps when the wind is blowing out. Our four hitter had a great day, Cody Howard. That home run helped us get the scoring going, and then (Chandler) Blanchard in the six hole got ahold of one for his first of the year.”
Blanchard’s two-run shot over the left-field fence pushed the lead to 13-2 going into the bottom of the third, allowing Padilla to empty his bench.
“We put hits together, put runs on the board early and just kept the pressure on them,” Padilla said.
Howard drove in three runs, and Blanchard was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Fahr and Bice each went 2-for-3, with Bice adding an RBI triple.
Jordan Benson tripled and scored in his only at bat for Palo Verde (2-3).