A three-hit day for senior leadoff hitter Wyatt Sparks, highlighted by his first home run of the year, helped the Aurora Houn' Dawgs pick up their first regular season home win, a 6-1 defeat of Kearney last Friday. The Dawgs remained undefeated on the year with the win, improving to 8-0 overall and maintaining their number one ranking in Class 4.
Sparks got things going for Aurora right away, leading off the bottom of the first with a single. Unfortunately, however, the Aurora offense couldn't take advantage of the early baserunner, and the game would stay scoreless until the bottom of the third.
After a one-out single by Sparks, the Houn' Dawgs had some fun with two outs, as a double by junior Gage Singer drove in the opening run. Senior Matthew Miller traded places with Singer, smashing his own RBI double to left field. A single by sophomore Ryan Cline brought Miller around for the third run of the inning before the Dawgs were retired on a groundout.
With senior starter Austin Erickson working efficiently on the mound, the Dawgs kept Kearney off the board for another half-inning before striking again in the bottom of the fourth.
Again the offense got it done with two outs, as Erickson reached on a single before Sparks cranked a line drive home run to left to make it 5-0.
The Bulldogs would manage to put up a run against Singer, who came on in relief of Erickson in the fifth, but Aurora got it right back in the bottom of the inning.
Singer helped himself with a double to lead off before scoring on another hit by Miller to make it 6-1, the score that would stand as the final tally.
Sparks finished the day 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs, while Singer added two hits, two runs and an RBI. Miller contributed a pair of hits, two RBI and one run, while Cline added a hit and RBI of his own.
Erickson picked up the win, thanks to four innings of no-hit ball, allowing just three baserunners and striking out two. Singer struck out three in two innings of work, while Sparks mowed down all three batters he faced on strikeouts in the seventh.
The Dawgs will be back in action this weekend with a double-header at Republic before traveling to Monett on Tuesday. Aurora will then host Mt. Vernon on Thursday afternoon.