MERRILLVILLE | It took all of last season for Andrean's baseball team to muster four home runs.
This season, it took four games for Noah Davis to knock his first and his team's first.
The 59ers sophomore hit a two-run bomb over the right-field fence in the second inning of Friday's game against Hebron, part of a six-run frame that helped end the game early. Andrean, behind a barrage of 12 hits, topped Hebron 16-3 in five innings of nonconference play.
Davis, who coach Dave Pishkur said could have more than a few homers in his Niners career, is one of multiple players on the team fighting to keep his name in the lineup.
Did the two-run homer help the catcher earn that place?
"I don't know, that's up to (Pishkur)," Davis said. "I think competing with so many guys makes us better. It makes us have to work hard every day to earn a spot."
Both teams used three pitchers by the end to give younger throwers a chance to warm up their arms.
Andrean had a 7-0 lead after the second inning that grew to 14-2 after three. Chase Dawson led the way going 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs.
Early, the Niners were stealing bases, and showing why this is one of Pishkur's more athletic teams. Outfielder Jamie Johnson, who avoided being caught in a rundown and eventually took second on an interference call, helped along a steal of home for a score. In all, Andrean stole six bases in the first three innings.
"(In one play), Johnny Albomonte slid so hard that his slide started like 10 feet before the base and when it ended he was almost on the other side of second base," Pishkur said. "That's the play I enjoyed the most because I like aggressive base running. ... This team, we're trying to shoot for that (aggressiveness). We're not there yet, but there are some signs of that."
A young Hebron lineup couldn't solve Andrean's pitching, with starter Stone Brogan (1-0) allowing two hits and two runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Senior Mike Mikulich, who threw 1 2/3 innings of relief and played shortstop for Hebron, went 2-for-3 and had two of the Hawks' runs.
"We didn't pitch very well today, but I like the fact that we battled, that's something we're going to do always," Hebron coach John Steinhilber said. "It's real early (in the season), but if we're going to get where we want to get, we can't take an inning off, we can't take a play off."