The Wildcats went for double digits again on Thursday, both on the mound and at the plate, beating Ardmore 12-3 at Valero Park. In the Tigers' debut, it was Madill which took command midway through the game, breaking a tie with seven runs in the fourth inning.
The few struggles that Madill pitcher Gage Goff experienced from then on were moot, as the righty had plenty of run support from a team that can't stop scoring at the moment.
"We came out and hit the ball good around the third inning or so," Goff said. "It took the pressure off of me and I felt more relaxed.
"We've got some talent and people in the right places."
Not that Goff didn't pull his own weight. Goff, an All-Ardmoreite Super Team pitcher as a junior, struck out 10 batters in the complete game victory. He kept Ardmore scoreless for four consecutive innings to give Madill's offense time to heat up.
The Wildcats did in the fourth, plating seven runs on five hits. Madill scored the go-ahead run on an error, then Ivan Flores' 2-run single with the bases loaded put the Wildcats ahead 4-1.
Paten Bond followed with a 2-run triple, Hunter Chapa added a sacrifice fly and Joe Avery came in on wild pitch for the 8-1 lead Ardmore could never catch up to.
"We're coming around," Madill coach Randy Rushing said. "We got out to a slow start tonight, but our guys are hitting the ball really good, and we're not even on all cylinders."
Chris Hall had two hits and two RBIs and Bodie Coffman added a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning for Ardmore (0-1), playing in its season debut. Playing with a special hard hat on, Hall also started on the mound, just months removed from an accident in a summer league game that nearly cost him his life.
Hall was warming up between innings for Ardmore in a late June summer league tournament when he was struck in the head by a teammate throwing down to second base. Hall was placed in an induced coma, had emergency brain surgery and recovered miraculously to start the season opener for the Tigers on Thursday.
Hall pitched three innings, striking out five and walking three. He tied the game 1-1 in the first inning with the first of hit two RBI singles on the day.
"To see him standing up there is amazing," Ardmore coach Will Trisciani said. "He gets hit in the head last summer, and we didn't know if the cat was gonna live.
"I'm proud of the way the kids played. I'm proud of this group of kids and we're just gonna keep getting better."
Jonathan Kukyendall had two hits including a double, and Madill scored its 12 run on 13 hits, adding on a run in the fifth, and three in the seventh.
Joe Avery had three hits, Goff added two, and Hunter Chapa had two RBIs for Madill. Shadow Marris and Goff each had doubles for the Wildcats.
Avery, Goff and Samuel Bond added had RBI hits in the seventh inning, giving Madill double-digit run production in each of its three wins. The scary part? The Wildcats are just getting their basketball players back into the groove after a lengthy playoff run in Class 4A.
One shudders to think what they'll look like in a few weeks.
"We've off to a shaky start," a humble Goff said. "When we come out and get things going, we'll be a force to be reckoned with."