CENTERVILLE — It’s been almost three decades since the Centerville Big Reds have opened South Central Conference play like they have this season.
With a sweep in their second regular season series with the Albia Blue Demons on Thursday, the Big Reds jumped to a perfect 10-0 in South Central Conference play.
A lead-off single by Albia’s Austin O’Leary would eventually turn into a run to give the Blue Demons a 1-0 lead early in game one.
The Big Reds would keep Albia to that one run, however, as they retired six straight Blue Demon batters in the second and third innings of the game. In the final three innings of play, Albia recorded just two hits and stranded a total of five bases runners, all but one of them were stranded in scoring position.
As the defense held Albia scoreless for the final six innings, the Big Reds scored a combined seven runs to take a 7-1 victory.
Michael Firkins and Michael Starcevich would score two runs for Centerville in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead.
After a scoreless third and fourth inning, the Reds recorded three runs in the fifth. The Big Reds’ Grant Walker hit a two-out single to give Centerville their first base runner of the inning. Kolton Gonnerman would draw a walk and Firkins was hit-by-a-pitch to load the bases. Starcevich would then hit a bases-clearing triple to score all three and give Centerville a 5-1 lead.
In the next inning, Brett Kauzlarich and Treye Rinehart would score on a double by Payton Kauzlarich to give the Reds a 7-1 lead and the eventual win.
After a brief rain delay, the nightcap went in the Big Reds’ favor as well.
Albia scored a run in the first inning, but the Big Reds responded with two of their own, as P. Kauzlarich and Gonnerman scored. Albia’s Victor Sanders scored what became the Blue Demons’ last run of the game, to tie the score at 2-2, in the top of the second inning.