Back into conference play after a nearly two-year absence, the Highland baseball team is once again establishing itself as the best team in the Southeast Yosemite League.
Ryan Morales allowed just one hit, Manuel Veleta led a balanced offense with three RBIs and the Scots took down North 10-0 on Monday afternoon.
After an 0-3 start, which included a loss to Liberty and a pair of losses to Centennial, the Scots have gotten back to their winning ways, beating North twice in five days by a combined score of 23-2.
“I told them once we start league, everything will start slowing down, and it has," said Highland coach Mike Garza said. "Our first three games, we has some tough games (against) the big boys across town. But the boys are just putting it together.”
It was easy to put things together thanks to the dominant effort of Morales, a sophomore who earned his first varsity win in style Monday.
Morales had five strikeouts and two walks while allowing just one infield single to Emanual Garcia in the third inning. He proceeded to get out of that jam immediately by picking off Garcia at first base.
Morales was naturally pleased with the effort afterwards, saying that earning his first win in such a dominant fashion will do wonders for his confidence as the season progresses.
"It went good," he said of Monday's game. "I was just trying to let my defense work, throw strikes. And I did that. I expect to keep doing that throughout the league."
His coach expects that dominance to continue beyond this season, saying Morales is "definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with in our league."
His confidence is likely grow further if he continues to get run support like he did Monday night.
Veleta drove Alejandro Garza home for the game's first run on a ground ball, then added the game's final RBI when he brought Derek Garza around with a bases-loaded single in the fifth.
He also had an RBI single to close out a five-run third inning, in which Highland opened up an 8-0 lead. For good measure, he then doubled to the wall in left-center field in his final at bat in the seventh.
The rest of the Highland offense was equally potent. Braydon Carlon had three hits and two RBIs, Derek Garza and Alejandro Garza both had two hits, with Derek scoring three runs.
After jumping out to a 3-0 record to start the season, North falls to 3-2. The two teams will play at North again at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.