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High School baseball: Murray scores 13 runs in two innings to blow past Stansbury

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MURRAY — Although it's only the preseason and just its sixth game of the year, Murray has shown it hasn’t had much trouble getting back into the swing of things.

In their matchup against Stansbury Wednesday afternoon, the Spartans quickly found their timing and rhythm at the plate, erupting for a staggering 14 runs off 11 hits in the third and fourth innings alone to blow past the Stallions, 14-4, at Ken Price Ball Park. The Spartans picked up their third straight victory and fourth win in five games.

“Any time you play a good team like Stansbury, who you know can hit, you want to get runs when you can get them,” Murray head coach Marce Wilson said. “When they’re available, you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities—and we did. That was great for us because it really could have been a different outcome.”

The Stallions were able to draw first blood in the top of the third inning after Mitch McIntyre roped a one-out double, Kyle Lindsley got beaned and Gage Manzione belted a stand-up double off the left-field fence to get things rolling.

Then, first baseman Jacob Petersen sent a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home another run as Stansbury took a 2-0 lead before Manzione got caught in a pickle to bring the visitors’ rally to a screeching halt.

But then the Spartans went on a rally of their own, one that didn’t stop at two runs.

Murray responded with a four-hit, six-run third inning — sparked by a pair of two-RBI singles from Preston Hannay and Michael Buchanan — to take its first lead of the game at 6-2, and with it, all of the momentum.

“They certainly took a better approach at the plate today than they had been lately,” said Wilson. “We try not to rely on anybody in our lineup and we just hope that everybody can get their job done. But they really came through for us at the plate today.”

After quickly retiring the side in the top of the fourth, the Spartans continued to dominate at the plate, tallying seven more runs off seven hits to extend their lead to 13-2 after just four innings of play.

Hannay and Buchanan continued to lead the charge, along with a strong showing from Ryan Topham, as the trio combined to go 7-for-10 at the plate with an impressive eight RBIs and four runs scored in the win.

“Hey, if they had eight RBIs for us, that’s obviously what we needed to win,” Wilson said. “Their approaches at the plate today were a lot more constructive than they have been in the past. To our hitters’ credit, they really took advantage of every single one of their at-bats.”

Stansbury went on to plate two more runs in the fifth to make it 13-4 and keep its slim hopes alive before the Spartans drove one final nail into the hearts of the Stallions with a walk-off RBI in the bottom of the fifth to take a 14-4 lead, initiate the mercy rule and take the win.

Starting pitcher Spencer Lecheminant and the stingy Murray defense put the pressure on the Stallions all game long, surrendering four runs on just four hits in the victory.

“That was just Spencer’s second start he’s ever had varsity wise,” Wilson said. “We always tell our pitchers that they’ve got to throw strikes for our defense to play well, and to his credit, he threw strikes when he needed to, and it showed today in our defense.”

Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying strategic communications and has been a part-time sportswriter for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.

Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724

EMAIL: rlove@deseretnews.com