During early season dugout chats, Scott County baseball coach Scott Willard has been persuaded to channel the bunting and base running wisdom of Whitey Herzog more religiously than the bombs-away and big-inning approach of Earl Weaver with his team.
Saturday evening in Shelbyville, however, SC showed its skipper that there's at least a chance of the Cardinals acting out a motion picture with a heavy soundtrack.
Luke Valencia's home run — the first in five games courtesy of a Scott County swing this season — sparked an eight-run second inning and launched a 14-6 win at Collins.
Valencia added an RBI single after the Cards batted around in their most prolific window of the season. Jay Wilson also belted a bases-clearing double and Shawn Rowe clouted the first of his two triples on the night to highlight a frame that staked SC to an 11-0 lead.
Wilson went 3-for-5 with four RBI to lead a 13-hit attack for Scott County (3-2). Tyler Robinson and Paul Garner joined Valencia and Rowe with two hits apiece.
Scott County's pitching quartet of Asher Harrington, Brennan Liebenauer, Rowe and Garner combined to allow five hits and not a single earned run. They served up seven strikeouts, led by Liebenauer's four.
Justin Stevenson singled, stole second base and scored the first of his three runs on a base hit by Wilson to ignite a three-run first.
Rowe walked ahead of an RBI infield single by Landon Whitson. Collins (3-3) threw out Whitson attempting to take second, but courtesy runner Jack Willhite scored behind the play to extend the lead.
Harrington breezed through his first two innings on the mound, allowing only a one-out double to Donavin Carroll in the Titans' first. That set the tone for SC to put it out of reach in the third, beginning with Valencia's line-drive blast to left field.
Robinson singled, Connor Caudill was ht by a pitch and Stevenson walked to quickly load the bases. Collins pitcher Daniel Elmore briefly stopped the bleeding with a strikeout prior to Wilson’s three-run knock into the gap for a 7-0 advantage.
Scott County wasn't finished. Rowe continued the extra-bases theme with another rip into the deepest part of the park.
A dropped pop-up and walk set the table for more production from Valencia, who greeted reliever Brady Williams with an opposite-field single that pushed the margin to double. Robinson rounded out the inning withanother hit and RBI.
Harrington worked around a double and walk to cap his scoreless stint after three innings.
Collins broke through in the fourth with a help of a walk, an error and a hit batsman, leading to a three-run triple from Jordan Harris to make it 11-4.
Neither team scored again until the seventh, when Stevenson walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored his third run of the contest on a hit by Garner.
Rowe ripped an RBI triple to right and returned home on a bounce out by Whitson.
Collins capitalized on an error, two walks, another hit batter and a lone single by Caleb Bailey for two runs in the seventh. Garner took over from Rowe and struck out Alston Whitworth looking to end the modest rally.
Scott County hosted Lafayette after press time Monday and will travel to George Rogers Clark (Wednesday) and Anderson County (Thursday).
SC's 3-2 record represents the latest the Cardinals have been above the .500 mark since the 2019 season, when they went 23-12.