MUNSTER | Colin Mudroncik certainly couldn't have led off his season any better than he did Tuesday.
The Munster senior belted a home run to center field in his first at-bat of the first inning, leading Munster to a 12-2 win over Clark in a six-inning, season opener for both teams.
"It definitely gave us a boost," said Mudroncik, who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. "It gave us a lot of energy. It was a good way to start off and give the whole team confidence."
Munster was up 1-0 after Mudroncik's blast before a two-run double from Clark's Dillon Slowiak put the Pioneers ahead 2-1 in the second inning.
However, that was the last time Clark would hold a lead. The Mustangs broke open the game in the third inning with an eight-run frame that sent 13 batters to the plate. Mudroncik, Mark Strbjak and Scott Jerge started the damage with RBI singles before the offensive floodgates broke open.
"There was a lot of two-strike hitting when we were down in the count and just put the ball in play," Munster coach Bob Shinkan said. "That's what I was looking for. We finally became aggressive, because in the first couple of innings we were taking a lot of good pitches. That took the wind out of (Clark's) sails, too. You could definitely tell."
Shinkan was also pleased with starting pitcher Scott Jerge, who rebounded from early control issues to strike out six over four innings. In Clark's two-run second inning, Jerge hit two batters but escaped the inning after striking out Jerald Morgan.
"It was just a matter of trying to get refocused, and he did that," Shinkan said. "I wasn't worried at all about that. He worked through it just fine."
Clark coach Chris Moore realizes the mistakes his team needs to fix, fielding being one of them.
"We misplayed a few balls in the wind, and those are mistakes we can work on," he said. "There is definitely a lot to work on, and that's what you come out here for."