BAY MINETTE, Alabama - Paul Williams earned his first win of the year by pitching five innings, striking out five, scattering two hits and walking just two, as St. Luke's defeated Gulf Shores 11-1 in five innings in the 17th annual BayBears Classic.
St. Luke's coach Tim Becker said that Williams had a solid night.
"I thought he pitched well overall," said Becker of Williams. "He had a lot of first-pitch strikes and he did a great job. He stayed ahead in the count and was pitching to contact."
The Wildcats (1-2) picked up their first win of the year, having already dropped a 3-1 decision to Mary Montgomery on Monday night before falling to Baldwin County 9-2 Tuesday.
"I thought that we hit the ball a lot better today," said Becker. "We had seven hits today and I think we only managed four hits in our game with MGM and six hits against Baldwin County last night. I thought we made more contact tonight. Defensively, we've been killing ourselves. We had three errors against the Vikings in the first game and five against the Tigers last night. We had two today but I saw some bright spots too. We just really have a young team right now and they need to get some more experience under their belt."
At the plate, the Wildcats were led by Danny Haskell with a two-run double and a two-run single, while John David Favors had five RBIs off a bases-loaded three-run double and a two-run double. For Gulf Shores (0-3), Austin Smith had a single.
After a scoreless first inning, St. Luke's managed to get all the offense it would need with five runs in the second to go up 5-0.
"Our guys just had to be patient (at the plate)," said Becker. "Early in the game, we just swung at bad pitches." Gulf Shores scored a run in the third inning to trim the lead to 5-1 but the Wildcats tallied four more runs in their half of the inning to make it 9-1, then scored two more in the fifth.
Becker said his team has high expectations after going 32-8 a year ago, and winning the Class 1A state title.
"There's no doubt about the expectations," said Becker. "We're playing teams right now like Mary Montgomery, Baldwin County and Gulf Shores and that's only going to help our team tremendously. We just have to go back to the field now and get better at defense. We have to make the routine plays. The first two games we played against Mary Montgomery and Baldwin County, we didn't do that. Tonight, we played more of a complete contest in all facets of the game."