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Prep baseball: Hurricane blasts Capital 15-1

By Nick Brockman

HURRICANE, W.Va. - The Hurricane baseball team combined offensive firepower and pitching prowess in an impressive 15-1, five-inning victory against Capital on Tuesday night.

The Redskins scored in each of their four at-bats and rallied behind an 11-run fourth inning, while senior starting pitcher Riley Metz tossed a complete game scattering two hits.

"Any time you score every inning, that's fun baseball," Hurricane Coach Brian Sutphin said.

With plenty of run support in hand, Metz focused on mowing through the Capital lineup.

"It makes the game a lot easier, a lot smoother," Metz said of the offensive support. "You don't have to worry about as much when runners get on base or runners in scoring position. You just do your thing."

Metz allowed just one run on two hits while striking out four and walking none. The key for Metz was attacking the strike zone, Sutphin said.

"I thought Riley threw the ball well and was aggressive pounding the strike zone," the coach said. "He was really getting ahead. There wasn't a lot of mystery there. He was going at them and I thought he had some good plays behind him, but more than anything else he was aggressive.

"I think that once we scored some runs, that makes it a lot easier to pitch as well. You can relax and trust your stuff a little bit more. But, I thought right off the bat, that first inning, he was throwing his fastball inside, outside, getting on the black, really changing speeds. That's the mark of any good pitcher, but especially Riley. When he's aggressive to the hitter, he's had success."

Almost fittingly, Metz's solid performance came just days before he is to sign his letter of intent to play baseball for Lenoir-Rhyne University (N.C.). Metz is scheduled to sign in a ceremony at 11:45 a.m. Thursday at Hurricane.

In addition to pitching, Sutphin said Lenoir-Rhyne coaches expressed they are impressed with his hitting. At the college level, Metz could pitch or play a corner infield position, first base or third, as he does for the Redskins.

For Metz, he said his signing is the realization of a goal brought to fruition.

"It's been a dream of mine since I started playing, always trying to get to the next level and play better," he said. "It's finally fulfilled."

On Tuesday, Metz and Hurricane made one more step in fulfilling the team's goal for the season.

"I'm just trying to win a state championship just like everybody else is, and that's been the team's dream, the coaches' dream since day one, so that's what we're trying to get," Metz said.

With the win, the Redskins (15-3) have won seven of their past eight games. Since losing 7-6 to Parkersburg South on Saturday, Hurricane has scored 39 runs in two games.

"We came out with a different mindset, that we're going to crush every pitch that comes to us," he said of the offensive outpouring since the team's loss to Parkersburg South.

Metz provided his part of the offensive outburst in Tuesday's win, as he finished 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBI. J.T. Rogoszewski also recorded a multi-hit day as he went 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.  Alexander Dunham led the Redskins with three RBI and finished with one hit.

Tate Brock tallied two RBI in his lone plate appearance, a two-run single. Sam Basler recorded two RBI, while Trey Dawson, Austin Hensley and Max Maxson each recorded a hit and RBI.

For Capital (6-12), it was a struggle to manufacture offense against Metz and the Hurricane defense.

"It just goes back to we have to come to the ballpark more prepared to play," Cougars Coach Robert Massey said. "If you're not ready to play and you go against a team like St. Albans or Nitro or Hurricane, you're going to take one pretty hard. If we're not ready to play to our most abilities, then it's not going to be a good night."

Catcher Austin Hupp provided Capital's lone run of the game on an RBI double in the third inning. The hit cut the Hurricane advantage to 3-1, though the Redskins regained that run in the bottom half of the third, then added 11 more in the fourth.

Hurricane visits Cabell Midland at 7 p.m. today, while Capital will look to rebound as it plays host to South Charleston at 7 p.m. today.


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