The Douglas Cats baseball team is averaging 12 runs per game through its first four games of the season.
After outscoring the Casper Drillers 24-5 in their doubleheader action two weekends ago, Saturday’s double dip saw much of the same. Highlighted by an outpouring of run support and a more than capable defense to back it up, the Cats coasted to two more victories.
“We’ve never started a season 4-0 before,” coach Zack Andrews said. “The guys are enjoying themselves out there; they’ve been doing what they’re supposed to do.”
The onslaught began in the second inning of Saturday’s opening game as Douglas batted around and pushed seven runs across the plate.
After the first three batters reached on a walk, error and hit by pitch, Michael Bobrowski singled to center field, scoring Sam Renner. Two batters later, after another run scored on a fly out to make it 4-1, Mason Barker shot a two-RBI single into left field to increase the lead to 6-1. From there, Casper was able to record the second out of the inning, but not before surrendering back-to-back walks and a bases clearing double to Renner to make it 9-1.
“Sam has really matured from last year,” Andrews said. “He has a ton of potential that he’s yet to even tap into.”
Barker, who got the start for the Cats, retired the Drillers in quick fashion in the top of the third, making way for another high scoring inning.
Cy Deluna, Ransom Ollie and Payton Brown each contributed to the scoring affair with RBI hits in the third, pushing the lead to 16-1 and effectively ending the game in a mercy rule.
Four Cats recorded multi-hit games with Renner collecting three RBIs. Barker picked up the win on the mound for Douglas, allowing just two hits in three innings of work with six strikeouts.
“We should have a better defensive team than in the past,” Andrews said. “All the way through, we have a solid team.”
In game two, the Cats jumped on the board in a hurry once again, taking a 4-1 lead in the first inning.
Casper handed out free trips to first base all day long and Douglas hitters took advantage. Three leadoff walks were issued in the third inning as a world of hurt was created for the Drillers. The Cats jumped all over them after being issued three bases on balls in a span of four batters, increasing their lead to 8-1.
Bobrowski exited the game after three innings, surrendering just three hits and one earned run. He also struck out two before passing the torch to Dylan Case. The right-hander walked two in one inning of work, making way for Renner.
The Drillers worked Renner to the tune of three runs to cut the lead to 8-4, giving life to a team that was virtually dead for three games prior.
After cutting the lead to four, Andres Robles relieved Renner in the seventh and struck out the side to close out the game.
“We saw some more speed on his pitches compared to last year,” Andrews said.
The 4-0 start to the season is one of the best for the Cats in recent years and shines light on a team that has matured immensely since last year. They finished 25-28 last season with a 7-5 conference record, second in A East behind the Cheyenne Hawks.
Andrews says this year’s team returns much of the same nucleus from last year. With the entire infield and much of the outfield still intact, he’s highly optimistic that the Cats will compete and make a strong run come summer time.
“When we play defense the way we know, run the bases well and put together runs, we can compete with anyone,” Andrews said.
Douglas will return to action on Sunday when they host the Laramie Colts for a twin bill beginning at noon. It will provide a different test for the Cats, who breezed through Casper.
“We’ll put more of our abilities to test this weekend against Laramie,” Andrews said.