Playing their first game in nearly a week, it would have been understandable for the Jefferson City Renegades to be a little rusty at the plate Monday night.
Someone forgot to tell their bats about the layoff.
The Renegades scored the game's first 20 runs in just four innings, routing the Kansas City Prime 22-2 in seven innings during a non-MINK League game at Vivion Field.
"It was a chance to get back out on the field and get some at-bats," said Renegades manager Mike DeMilia, whose team has endured four rainouts since last playing last Tuesday. "We've got a heck of a lot of baseball to play, and having six days off? I would've never dreamed that was ever going to happen."
Peyton Leeper opened the bottom of the first inning with a triple into the right-field corner, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dede Cole to put the Renegades ahead 1-0.
The next batter, Paul Haupt, hooked a deep fly ball just inside the left-field foul pole for a solo home run, his third blast of the season.
"The first two pitches I swung at were in the dirt," Haupt said. "I guess I got (my bad swings) out of the way early."
Haupt and Leeper both reached base in each of their four plate appearances through the first four innings.
Leeper scored all four times, while Haupt tallied a game-high six RBI. The Renegades' first baseman hit a bases-clearing double in the third, then followed with a two-run double to left field in the fourth.
"Some of it's luck, some of it is just comfort," said Haupt, who is the reigning MINK League player of the week. "Being relaxed is my main thing."
Jefferson City sent nine batters to the plate in the second inning, then did the same in the third. However, during the fourth, the Renegades' first 12 batters reached base before the first out of the inning was recorded.
By the fifth inning, with a commanding 20-0 lead, the Renegades gave their pitchers a chance to bat for the first time all season, and perhaps for the first time in years.
Connor McKenna, who started the game on the mound, re-entered in the fifth inning and got a couple chances to bat.
"Every once in a while I'll get in the cage and have some fun," said McKenna, a Helias High School graduate. "But even in high school, I didn't hit."
In his first at-bat, McKenna flied out to center field, but it came at a price. He borrowed a bat from teammate Tommy Ruether, and it cracked on contact on the flyout.
"Sorry to Tommy about his broken bat," McKenna said. "Tommy wasn't that upset about it, but I'll try not to do that again if we have another situation like that."
McKenna drew a walk on a full count in his next plate appearance in the sixth.
"I was kind of disappointed to get walked," he said. "I had the bases loaded there and I was really looking for a pitch and he didn't want to give me one."
The only Jefferson City pitcher to come through with a hit was Tyler Robbins, who singled up the middle in the fifth.
The Renegades finished with 14 hits. Logan Haring had two doubles and two RBI, while Ryan Missal finished with a single and a double. Cole also had two singles and four RBI, driving in a run during each of his four plate appearances.
Jefferson City used six different pitchers in the win. Lukas Veinbergs earned the win, striking out five batters in two innings of relief. Deejay Seelbach struck out the side in the seventh to end the game.
The Prime scored their two runs in the top of the sixth. The Renegades answered with two runs in the bottom half, pushing the lead back to 20.
Jefferson City (9-7, 7-7 MINK League) will conclude the first half of the season tonight at Nevada. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The MINK League All-Star Game is Wednesday in St. Joseph. The Renegades begin the second half of the season Friday, back at Nevada.
"We're going to be begging for a day off here in about three weeks," DeMilia said.