WARDSVILLE — It took 12 games, but the Blair Oaks Falcons are finally home.
After having its home opener pushed back twice, Blair Oaks played its first game of the season at the Falcon Athletic Complex on Monday.
The Falcons extended their winning streak to eight games, topping the Fulton Hornets 11-1 in six innings.
"It's been a long time since we played here last summer," Blair Oaks coach Mike DeMilia said. "Having 11 straight games on the road is tough, but it was nice being here."
The Blair Oaks offense found the gaps often in the home opener. In the bottom of the first inning, Lane Libbert hit an opposite-field triple to right-center field, then Wil Libbert pulled the ball into the same gap for an RBI double.
Seven of the Falcons' 12 hits went for extra bases.
"We swung the bats really well, and we've been swinging the bats really well the last week," DeMilia said. "Our guys have a good approach at the plate, they're hitting the right pitches. That's the big thing."
Lane Libbert added another extra-base hit, a double to deep left field, in the second inning. That scored two runs, extending the Falcons' lead to 4-0.
"Lane is a small guy, but he's got such good hands and good power," DeMilia said. "Those extra-base hits, they get a lot of momentum going."
Blair Oaks opened the third inning with three straight hits, including a two-run double by Josh Isaacs, also to the right-center field gap.
The Falcons' lineup alternated left-handed and right-handed hitters for the first six batters. They combined to have all 12 of the team's hits.
"They're all good hitters, so it makes it seem like I know what I'm doing," DeMilia said. "I do like the combo, I think it makes it a little tougher on the pitcher."
Fulton brought in Lincoln Smith to pitch after Isaacs' triple. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Cale Willson on his first pitch, but he retired the next two batters on just four pitches to escape further damage.
"He changed speeds, he didn't throw real hard, and that's a negative about our hitters," DeMilia said. "We're a fastball-hitting team, and sometimes you bring in those softer throwers and they give us a little bit of a curveball."
With a five-game tournament later this week, Blair Oaks split six innings of pitching between two players.
Isaacs was the winning pitcher, walking two and striking out five in three innings. Gavin Wekenborg pitched the other three innings, walking two and striking out four while allowing Fulton's only run in the fifth.
"Josh and Gavin were going to pitch no matter what," DeMilia said. "We wanted to get them the right amount of pitches, and it worked out perfectly."
DeMilia said the Falcons are going to need a lot of pitching this weekend.
"We have eight guys that I really feel can get people out at the varsity level," he said.
Wil Libbert had an RBI double and two more runs scored in the fourth to give Blair Oaks a 10-0 lead.
David Gibson hit a leadoff double in the fifth and scored on a groundout, accounting for the only run for Fulton (2-9).
The game ended in the bottom of the sixth when Wil Libbert hit a leadoff double to center field and scored on Reid Dudenhoeffer's double to left, the third hit of the game for each player.
"We're swinging the bats a lot better now," DeMilia said. "We're getting a lot more at-bats. We knew it would come along, it was just a matter of time."
The Falcons won't have to wait long to play their next game at home.
Blair Oaks (10-2) is scheduled to begin play Thursday in the Columbia Tournament. However, both fields at Rock Bridge and Battle are undergoing turf renovation, so the Falcon Athletic Complex will host three pool-play games Thursday.
Rock Bridge opens the tripleheader at 2:30 p.m. against Sedalia Smith-Cotton. Blair Oaks will play in each of the next two games, hosting Smith-Cotton at 5 p.m. and then Battle at 7 p.m.
"Obviously, we weren't expecting that," DeMilia said. "But this is a good chance to play Smith-Cotton and Battle at our place. It's a big deal."
In Monday's JV game, Blair Oaks defeated Fulton 15-0 in three innings to improve to 5-1.
Harrison Lear and Chase Schnieders each struck out three on the mound for the Falcons.
Schnieders, Griffin Herst and Joey Wilde each had two hits and two RBI in the win.