MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon 12-year-old All-stars came ready to play on Friday night.
The team wasted no time in taking the lead on Southwest Licking, then expanded it with some power hitting and dominant pitching to come away with an 11-1 victory in a run-rule shortened game.
“That was a statement,” said Mount Vernon manager Dan Trace following the game. “They came out and played ball tonight. They were so smooth and calm. They were ready to play.”
There was success on both sides for Mount Vernon. The team had nine hits in four innings played, including three home runs. Two home runs were hit by Trace Hatfield, including a grand slam in the fourth that effectively put the game out of reach. That slam gave Hatfield four of his game-high six RBIs.
Hatfield’s first homer came on the second at-bat of the game. It was a rifle shot past the right fielder, who stood and stared as it sailed over the fence.
Mount Vernon held on to the 1-0 lead thanks to brilliant pitching by Fred Hart.
Hart has been used sparingly in recent days due to a sore shoulder. This was his first extended start in weeks. He pitched the complete game, not allowing a hit until the fourth and final inning. He struck out seven batters in the abbreviated game.