Runs haven't exactly been a problem for the Merced College baseball team, but Blue Devils coach Chris Pedretti is still fine tuning.
Looking for a little more consistent explosiveness, the MC skipper elected to go with Bryan Abrey and Wes Borba at the top of the order on Tuesday.
The sophomore duo responded with consecutive doubles to open the game, sparking an 11-batter, seven-run first inning.
MC scored a season-high run total in a 14-5 victory over Monterey Peninsula College.
"Abrey and Borba were both All-NorCal guys, so you know what you're getting with them," Pedretti said. "We're still tinkering with the lineup a little bit. It was the first time we've had them hit one-two.
"Obviously it worked well today."
Abrey was particularly potent, collecting three hits in the first three innings -- including a bases-clearing, three-run double his second time up in the first inning.
"I don't think I've ever had two doubles in the same inning before, so that was pretty cool," Abrey said. "We dropped a couple tough games over the weekend, so we wanted to get back here and get back in the win column.
"We haven't started games strong this year, so today was nice."
With MC (7-2) coming off of a busy weekend and four games on tap this week, Pedretti decided to use Tuesday to rest his starters and flaunt his bullpen depth.
Making his first career start, freshman pitcher Logan Todd benefited from the early run support.
Todd improved to 2-0, striking out three and allowing no runs in three innings of work.
Six Blue Devil relievers were called upon to handle the rest.
"Whenever you start, you want to go as long as you can, but they told me it was only going to be a couple of innings," Todd said. "Usually it takes us a couple innings to get our bats going, but having the guys score seven in the first was great.
"As a pitcher, you never want to give up any runs. But when you have a big lead like that you know you can mess up a bit and it won't cost you the game."
Jerry Leonardo struggled a bit in the fourth -- allowing four runs -- but MC's bullpen held Monterey (7-3) to one run the rest of the way.
Sean Lynch is a Sun-Star sports writer. He can be reached at 385-2476 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MERCED COLLEGE 14
MONTEREY PENINSULA 5
At Merced College
Monterey 000 100 010 -- 5 9 3
Merced 702 001 04x -- 14 14 2
James Legsay, Luke Matthews (7) and Logan Kanamu, Texeira Kawailao (8). Logan Todd, Jerry Leonardo (4), Cameron Martin (4), Jacob Burch (6), Sukhjit Pannu (7), Travis Flosi (8), Nick Pasaly (9) and Wes Borba and Anthony Jakosa. WP -- Todd 2-0. LP -- Legsay.
MONTEREY -- Kalika Kahoohalahala 2-4 (RBI), Kanamu 1-3 (2B).
MERCED COLLEGE -- Bryan Abrey 3-4 (2 (2B), 4 RBI), Wes Borba 2-5 (2 (2B), 2 RBI), Andrew Bone 2B, Brian Gilbertson 2B, Jason Hague 2-5, Jakosa 2B (2 RBI).
Records: Monterey Peninsula 7-3, Merced College 7-2.