Wayne Country Pitcher Tanner Willman

Wayne Country Pitcher Tanner Willman (18) gets ready to throw a pitch during Wayne Country Day’s game against Statesville Christian. Willman recorded seven strikeouts in the game.

After weeks of cold weather that wreaked havoc on preseason preparation and a season-opening loss against Eastern Christian Home School, Wayne Country Day bounced back with an impressive offensive showing, defeating Statesville Christian, 15-0, in a non-conference game.

“Tuesday, we came out in practice mode,” Wayne Country Day head coach Michael Taylor said. “We just didn’t do what we were supposed to do to win a ball game, so we worked on a lot of different situations in practice, and it showed today.”

Case Kermode, a senior, went 3 for 4 with one single, one double, and a triple at the plate. After Chargers starting pitcher Tanner Willman made quick work of the Lions in the bottom of the first, Aoha Godo got the offense rolling. He hit a double, which allowed to Chargers two score runs.

Leading 3-0 in the bottom of the first, Avery Browning stole home to make the score 4-0, while Preston Barnes hit a single to put the Chargers up 5-0. The Chargers still weren’t done, Willman hit a single to make the score 6-0.

It wasn’t a bad start for the Chargers.

“We were looking to come out strong, come out with our heads up,” Taylor said. “The weather has been bad, and we haven’t had much practice on the field. We’ve been mainly in the cages, so we haven’t seen a lot of live pitching.”

Wayne Country Day head coach Michael Taylor said he was pleased with the way the entire team approached their at-bats.

“We’ve been working on our timing at practice, and we did what we needed to do,” Taylor said.

On the mound, Willman pitched three and one-third innings. He allowed no runs on two hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He mixed his pitches well throughout the game, which kept the Lions off balance.

Caleb Brewer followed with a two-thirds inning of relief to finish off the Lions.

“Tanner is probably going to be my number one this year,” Taylor said. “He threw the ball very well today. He pitched like he’s supposed to. It was good to see Caleb throw strikes when he came in.”

Godo finished the game 2-3 with three RBIs, while Willman went 2-2 at the plate with four RBIs.

Taylor and his players acknowledged that there was plenty of work to be done, but they were happy to get their first win of the season.

“There’s still a lot we need to work on, but this is exactly where we wanted to be,” Taylor said. “It was a tremendous effort, one through nine and even the guys on the bench had energy, so it was good to see.”