EDWARDSVILLE - Lockport Township High took a 2-0 lead in the third and blew the game open in the fifth, scoring four times on a pair of two-run homers, then scored four more times in the seventh, two coming on another two-run shot, and held the Tigers to two hits - both by Andrew Hendrickson - as the Porters took a 10-0 win Thursday afternoon at Tom Pile Field.

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The Lockport pitching was overwhelming on the day, as two hurlers - Dylan Nagle and Nino Ferrara - combined for 12 strikeouts, with nine by Nagle in five innings on the mound. At one point, Nagle fanned five straight batters and struck out eight of 10 batters, striking out the side in the third inning.

"They're a really good team," said Edwardsville head coach Tim Funkhouser, "and we left a few pitches over the plate and they hit them, we had a few pitches over the plate and we either took them or swung through them. They're a really competitive team and took great at-bats, they play great defense and their starting pitcher in particular gave us a lot of problems and just attacked the zone. And you could just tell the type of competitor he was, he was going to take it personally each at-bat for each batter that we had. So he was impressive there."

Overall, it wasn't a very good day for the Tigers, but Funkhouser knows that his team will bounce back and play well.

"We really struggled to understand how he was pitching as the course of the game went on," Funkhouser said, "and I think we had one inning where we had eight sliders that we took on the outer part of the plate that was just pitched to hit. maybe early there when we took them. But then, after that, I thought we had a few decent at-bats, but really, one, their pitcher makes it tough, two, it's early in the season, three, there were a lot of adjustments that we need to make that we're just now equipped to do right now. But it's good to be exposed to those categories. Our guys are practicing hard, but it'll point out their flaws a little more, so that, now, we'll have something to work towards."

The good thing for Edwardsville is that it was only the second game of the season and there is plenty of time to fix the mistakes and make the adjustments necessary.

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"Yep," Funkhouser said. "So we'll look forward to getting better each day. It's not fun to lose and I don't think we've had a 10-0 game in a long time on the flip side. But that's baseball and we tip our cap to Lockport. They did a great job."

The Porters started off the game by having the first two batters reach on errors, but starting pitcher Joe Chiarodo came back to strike out Anthony Martinez, get Caden Miller to foul out to first, and fanned Jake Schindler to get out of the inning. In the second, Jake Moerman walked but was caught stealing second on a nice throw by catcher Lucas Huebner and Giovani Zaragosa was picked off first after being hit by a pitch. Chiarodo then struck out Anthony Francone to end the second.

Lockport broke through in the third, starting when Joey Manzo was hit by a pitch and Niko Mastoris singled. Both advanced on a passed ball, but a pair of fly-outs to center and left fields kept the runners on second and third, with Greyson Rathgeb making a great throw to the plate to keep Manzo on third on the first out. Schindler drew a walk to load the bases and Moerman stroked a double to left to score Manzo and Mastoris, but Schindler was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay throw by Cole Funkhouser to keep it 2-0 at the end of the inning.

The Porters blew the game open in the fifth, getting two-run homers from Miller and Moerman to make it 6-0, then scored their final runs in the seventh, starting with a Ferrara ground out to second to score Moerman, then getting a two-run shot over the left field fence by Ryan Groberski to make it 9-0. The final run came on an RBI double by Martinez that scored Manzo to make the score 10-0.

Meanwhile, Nagle pitched well, striking out nine and allowing only a second-inning single by Hendrickson and four baserunners in his five innings of work. Ferrara came in the sixth and fanned three, allowing Hendrickson's second hit, a lead-off single, and a walk-in shutting down the Tigers to preserve the 10-0 win.

The Porters start their season at 1-0, while the Tigers are now 1-1 and have made changes to their schedule. Edwardsville, originally set to play Joliet Catholic Academy, will now play Washington at 5 p.m. on Friday on the junior varsity turf field, with their game on Saturday against New Lenox Lincoln-Way West now canceled, as many of the Chicagoland teams set to play in the Metro-East this weekend calling off their trips, due to weather concerns. Funkhouser is confident that the Tigers learned much from their loss to Lockport and will be ready to go against the Panthers.

"Yeah, it's things to learn from," Funkhouser said. "I think we learned a lot about ourselves, just even beyond physical, but I think we learned a lot about how we responded mentally. I don't think we did that well; we kind of backed off and we don't be a team that backs off in competition. We want to meet the challenge and then accept the responsibility when we don't do as well. But also have an understanding."

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