On a night when the Aurora baseball seniors were honored for their years of hard work and contributions to the team, Matthew Miller made sure to remind Houn' Dawg fans he's not quite done contributing to the team.
The senior slugger went 5-for-5 at the plate on the night with three home runs -- including a grand slam -- and nine RBI in the Houn' Dawgs' 27-0 blowout of East Newton.
The long day for the Patriots began in the bottom of the second, as Wyatt Sparks led off with a double before advancing to third on a Miah Fisher single. Both came in to score on a double by Gage Singer, who then scored on Miller's RBI single. Aurora would score five more runs in the inning, with run-scoring hits by Ryan Cline, Austin Erickson and Fisher, who came back up to smack a a three-run triple before the inning ended.
East Newton picked up its only two hits against Sparks to lead off the top of the second, but Aurora's ace struck out the next three batters to end the scoring threat easily.
Miller led off the bottom of the second with his first homer of the day, which turned out to be the Dawgs' only run of the inning. But Aurora came back for four more in the third inning, thanks in part to a Fisher RBI single and a two-run double by Miller.
Singer got in on the home run fun in the bottom of the fifth with a grand slam to center, followed immediately by Miller's second solo homer to make it 18-0.
Then the Houn' Dawgs piled on the runs with two outs. A single by Cody Childress brought in the 19th run before Jay Lee drove in one more on a double. Walks to Sparks and Fisher led to another run, as did a Singer single, which loaded the bases for Miller. The senior's first-pitch grand slam made it 26-0 in Aurora's favor.
After a walk to Cline, the Dawgs scored one final run on a triple by Blake Williams before the inning mercifully ended for the Patriots. Sparks then struck out three of four batters faced in the fifth to end the game on the mercy rule.
Miller's day wasn't the only impressive line in the box score for the Houn' Dawgs, as Singer finished with three hits and seven RBI, along with Fisher's three hits and five RBI. The top four batters in the Houn' Dawg lineup all scored four runs each, while all the Aurora batters scored at least once.
Sparks earned the win on the mound, allowing just two hits and a walk over five innings while striking out 11.
Aurora will host a double-header against West Plains and Willard on Saturday before wrapping up the regular season at Lamar on Tuesday.