WOODSTOCK — It was all Walton from the beginning Tuesday as the Raiders beat Etowah 10-0 in six innings.
Walton (8-4-1, 1-0) jumped out early with seven runs in the first two innings and cruise to a win in the Region 4AAAAAAA opener for both teams.
“We came out there (Tuesday) and kept them off balance,” Walton coach Shane Amos said. “We got the support from our bats and beat a very good Etowah team in an important region game.”
The offense came from the heart of the Raiders’ lineup.
Jared Jones hit a three-run home run in the first inning from the cleanup spot, and Luke Boynton added his own three-run homer in the second to put the Raiders up 7-0. The pair also went back-to-back in the sixth to give the game its final margin.
“That’s kind of what we are right now,” Amos said. “We have some big hitters. They do a good job of hitting it hard and getting the runners around. It doesn’t always leave the park, but (Tuesday), they were all over it.”
Pierce Gallo was 3-for-4 with two runs scored for Walton from the leadoff spot.
Etowah (10-3, 0-1) was unable to get its own offense going as its seven-game win streak came to a close.
The Eagles had their chances early, but they left two runners on in the first and stranded the bases loaded in the second.
They had just two hits in the game — a first-inning double from Michael Sharman and a fifth-inning single from Michael Straub — though Dean O’Brien was able to keep the game somewhat competitive with a pair of scoreless innings and three strikeouts before allowing three runs in his final two innings.
“Sometimes, that just happens,” Etowah coach Greg Robinson said. “That’s a good team. They came out and jumped all over us. We couldn’t really respond with the bats at all, but Dean gave us some good innings to extend the game.”
While O’Brien extended the game, Etowah’s offense could not take advantage against William Marconi.
Marconi walked four batters, but he buckled down late to retire 13 of the final 15 batters he faced and finish with 10 strikeouts in the shutout.
“Marconi pitched great,” Amos said. “It’s his first year on the mound. We needed a good game out of him because of some injuries. He really stepped up for us, though, and did what we needed him to do.”
The teams will conclude their series today with a doubleheader at Walton.