Deerfield starting pitcher Chris Moates threw four shutout innings Tuesday in the Knights' season opener, an 11-1 rout of Terrell Academy in five innings.
ALBANY -- Chris Moates' season opener couldn't have gone much better.
Deerfield-Windsor's senior ace, who also hits in the catbird seat, rapped out four hits and threw four shutout innings in the Knights 11-1 win against Terrell Academy Tuesday in both teams' spring debut.
Moates ended the game in the fifth inning on the 10-run rule when he tripled home Banks Kinslow. The only thing that could have made things better is if Moates' last hit would have cleared the fence.
"He probably wanted that ball to spin a little more," Deerfield head coach Rod Murray said.
Moates was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. On the mound, the lanky righty gave up just four hits in four innings to go along with four strikeouts and no walks.
"Moates had a great outing," Murray said. "He threw a lot of strikes. He was close to 70 percent ahead (of hitters all night). That's what you want."
Terrell Academy, which lost seven seniors off last year's state playoff team, started just two seniors in the opener. Every other position player is a sophomore. Eagles head coach Ashley Walker doesn't want his team to be called young, though.
"That's not an excuse," Walker said. "We've got some things that we need to figure out and I think we showed a lot (Tuesday)."
The Knights led, 4-0, through three innings before Terrell nearly cut into the lead in the fourth with three singles off Moates. But Rhett Cooper gunned down a runner at third and Michael Laslie threw out a would-be run at the plate to kill the Eagles' rally.
Then the crooked-number inning came. Deerfield knocked Terrell sophomore pitcher Clint Smith out of the game in the bottom of the fourth with six runs, three of which were charged to Smith. Kinslow, Laslie, Davis Moore and Lindsey Short all had RBI hits in the inning.
"We came out swinging the bats," Murray said. "If we stay patient, we feel like we'll be able to hit the ball. We don't mind hitting with a strike or two on us."
Kinslow pitched the fifth for the Knights, allowing three hits and a walk to Logan Maxwell with the bases loaded for the lone Eagles run. Logan Duckworth went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead Terrell.
"These guys are progressing well," said Walker, whose Eagles play host to Randolph-Southern on Friday at 4 p.m. "They're learning the system pretty fast. We saw some things we can build on. We just have to eliminate the big inning."
Deerfield, which returned six senior starters this season, got three hits, two RBI and two runs scored from Kinslow. Cooper also had a RBI and two walks.
The Knights and Eagles meet again Tuesday in Dawson after Deerfield returns from Alabama on Monday, where they'll face three-time private school state champion Glenwood.
"We're excited to go over there and play them," said Murray, whose team fell to Glenwood, 5-3, last season.