Temperatures dipped into the 40s Tuesday night as Old Man Winter’s last breath pushed across the Grand Strand.
The unseasonably cold conditions did little to cool the bats of Aynor, though, the Blue Jackets dominant in the sweep of a doubleheader against Mullins.
Following a 20-1 effort in the opening game of Tuesday’s double dip, the No. 6-team in Class AA one-upped itself in pounding out 21 hits in a 28-1 romp over the Auctioneers.
“We hit the ball very well tonight, I think we got a barrel on the ball for sure,” said Aynor baseball coach Chad Sarvis. “We certainly had some innings in which we opened things up, and (Mullins) wasn’t able to make plays on some balls. But overall, I feel we did what we wanted to do (Tuesday night).”
A 17-run outburst in the first inning set the tone for the evening, knocking Mullins ace D.J. Atkinson from the game in less than an inning of work.
“(Atkinson) has a good arm, but we were just seeing the ball well,” Sarvis said.
Conversely, Jason Duke was masterful in going the distance for Aynor, scattering four hits and yielding a single run.
Duke also proved himself in the batter’s box, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored in the game. Also contributing was Austin Hucks, who went 3-for-4 in the first game.
The hit parade continued in the night cap, the Blue Jackets making the most of nine hits and four errors by Mullins in the second inning, scoring 12 runs in the process.
Just as their teammates had done the previous game, Caleb Nobles and Ridge Richardson showcased their skills at the plate.
Noble was 5-for-6 with six RBIs and four runs scored, while Richardson was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
“Both of those kids are very solid for us,” Sarvis said. “They came up with big hits for us. They’re really good sticks in our lineup, and any time they come to play I think we stand a good chance.”
More importantly, Aynor moves to 6-0 in Region VIII-AA play and 8-3 overall. Despite his teams recent roll, Sarvis continues to caution his team against looking too far ahead.
“With as great a region a we have, we have to prepare and play our best each day,” he said. “The polls and everything are nice, but the only poll that matters is the one at the end. Take it one game at a time and let the cards fall as they may.”
▪ Game One — Aynor 20, Mullins 1
0 0 0
17 3 0
▪ W: Jason Duke L: D.J. Atkinson Top hitters: MUL: Atkinson, 2-for-3. AYN: Duke 2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 R; Ridge Richardson 2-for-3, RBI, R; Austin Hucks 3-for-4, 3 R.
▪ Game Two — Aynor 28, Mullins 1
1 0 0
3 12 5
▪ W: Walt Richardson .L: Ethan Hewitt Top hitters: MUL: Atkinson 1-for-2, HR, RBI. AYN: Caleb Nobles 5-for-6, six RBIs, 4 R; Ridge Richardson 2-for-4, HR, 4 R.
▪ Records: AYN 8-3 (6-0 Region VIII-AA).