The middle of the Mt. Vernon batting order mashed the ball, and Brock Fulkerson silenced the Indians bats in an 8-3 Rams road win Friday.
Jake Pike had two hits, three walks and two RBI for Mt. Vernon. Thomas Weber cracked a solo home run and finished with a pair of RBI.
“We've been looking for consistency throughout our lineup,” Mt. Vernon coach Tim Holloway said. “Obviously Thomas got us on the board with the home run, but we had a lot of good things happen. When we did get guys on, we did a good job of taking advantage.”
DuQuoin hitters jumped on Fulkerson early with two runs on four hits in the opening inning. Fulkerson was able to work out of the inning without any further damage and left the bases loaded.
“That's manageable,” Holloway said. “If they score two or three more there, now we're in trouble.”
The senior hurler settled down and retired 11 straight DuQuoin batters after the opening inning.
“Brock has been through this before and just had a tough first inning,” Holloway said. “A few of the balls were up, and DuQuoin did a nice job of putting it in play.”
With Fulkerson on the mound holding batters hitless, the offense exploded for eight runs starting in the fourth frame.
Weber made the score 2-1 when he launched a solo home run over the left field fence to lead off the fourth inning. Braden Smith tied the game with a two-out single later in the same inning.
“We've been giving a lot of guys chances to prove themselves,” Holloway said. “And Braden has stepped up recently. He's been putting the ball in play and having some RBIs for us.”
Mt. Vernon took a 4-2 edge in the fifth inning, and took control with three more runs in the sixth. The big blow came with the bases loaded. Jake Pike rocked a pitch off the fence in right-center field to score a pair of runs and put the Rams up 7-2.