Parker Benoit and the Salina Falcons were ready for the 2021 season opener.
Benoit recorded four hits and five RBIs, leading the Falcons to 8-0 and 7-5 victories over Hutchison Wednesday evening at Dean Evans Stadium.
The Salina offense was geared up and ready to go from the start. The Falcons plated two runs in each of the first two frames before scoring three in the third. Benoit broke the game open with a two-RBI single in the third. Benoit was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Kade Barber and Ty Miller each drove in two.
Nick Clayson was solid on the hill. Clayson threw every pitch for the Falcons, scattering three hits and striking out four in five innings of work.
In the nightcap, Hutchinson jumped on Salina early. Hutch scored five runs on just one hit in the first inning. Mason Gary struggled to find his command, giving up five walks in the 10 batters he face in 2/3 of an inning.
Salina returned the favor in the third, plating five runs on one hit. That lone hit came from Benoit, who blasted a two-RBI double to centerfield. Jayton Mathis, Nick Shutz, and Clayton all drove in runs on walks.
Salina took the lead for good on a couple of Hutchinson mistakes. Ethan Bolen opened the fifth with a triple to right. Zach Redding took Bolen’s spot and scored on a wild pitch. Salina would get another run across home plate on an error. The game was called shortly after due to the time limit.
Brycen Mitchell and Mathis combined for a four-hitter on the hill. Mitchell didn’t give up any hits and walked two. Mathis gave up four knocks and struck out one.