LATHROP — Mountain House put the ball in play early and often in both games of a Western Athletic Conference twin bill Tuesday, defeating host Lathrop 6-2 and then pounding the Spartans 11-1 in a five-inning mercy shortened contest.
“We definitely try to push tempo in the first inning when we can and make sure we can get a couple of runners on and get off to a great start,” Mustangs coach Stephen Gatehouse said. “It definitely takes the pressure off of the pitchers when we can do that.
“Both of our pitchers went the distance and did a fine job. We battled through some command issues early in the first game but then we came back and started getting some quick innings.”
In the first contest, Mountain House (6-1 WAC, 10-7 overall) tallied four runs in the opening frame and another in the second.
Lathrop (4-2, 5-2) got its runs in the fourth and seventh inning. In the fourth, Noah Martinez singled in Adrian Zuniga and in the seventh Jarran Harrell scored on Eddie Reynoso’s single.
In the second contest the Spartans buried themselves early, giving up the first six of eight first-inning runs on just two hits.
“Both games started the same way,” Lathrop coach Charles Garcia said. “They came out hitting. They hit. They see the ball, they hit the ball, they do what they are supposed to do. They run the bases the way you are supposed to run the bases.
“Today we showed up to the park but we did not play our game. We have a lot of work to do.”
The Spartans got their lone run in the fourth inning of the second game when the Mustangs booted the ball around. Omare Cross led off the inning with a walk and came around to score on a pair of Mountain House errors.
Held hitless through the first four innings of the second game, Cienna Duenez led off the Lathrop fifth with a single and took second on Jeremy Estante’s groundout. Jeremy Julien singled Duenez to third but that is as far as she would get as the inning ended on a groundout.
Ny’Zaiah Thompson did the job of a leadoff batter for Mountain House in the second contest, reaching base in all four at-bats with a walk, single, double, triple with an RBI and two runs.