KIRKSVILLE -- In the first game of the Jacob Lorentzen era, the Fulton Hornets secured a resounding 13-4 victory against North Central Missouri Conference opponent, the Kirksville Tigers, Tuesday at Kirksville High School.
Dusty Hagens earned the season/conference opener victory for Fulton. The senior went four innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five.
Walker Gohring closed the game for the Hornets, pitching the final three innings and allowing just one run.
"Our pitching was really good," Fulton coach Lorentzen said. "We threw it across the plate. It got wet at the end of the game. And Walker Gohring came in, and he was slipping a little bit on the turf mound, but he really honed it in. He was throwing strikes there, but they did good.
"We had a few errors behind them that are routine things, but it's the first inning, and this turf is a really fast field. Later in the conditions, we really put it together and made sure that we got the lead that we were keeping the lead."
Meanwhile, Ethan Milius led Fulton with two extra-base hits; the Hornets had three as a team. Fulton recorded 10 RBI among seven players.
"We had some really good approaches today, early," Lorentzen said. "I mean, they threw their No. 1, I assume. I mean, he put it up against us last year. But I think we had our first inning, and I think everybody was in a full count. I mean, we really made him work. He got out of there, I know, a lot earlier than what his coach was hoping him to do.
"And because of that, we got to some bullpen arms, and then we started getting a nice rally. Miles Bethell had a nice double down the line. They got us kind of across the plate. From there, we just kept rolling. We put 27 of the 28 at-bats today were all quality at-bats, according to the Game Changer. So we were doing something right."
Kirksville reliever Jack Thomas was tagged with the loss after allowing four earned runs while striking out three in two innings. The Tigers' pitchers walked 12 batters and had 171 total pitches.
While Thomas may have lost the game, he tied his teammate Cole Kelly for a team-high two hits and one RBI.
When it was all said and done, Fulton's pitching got the job done, but Kirksville's didn't.
Tuesday was the Hornets' first victory against Kirksville since May 10, 2016; they beat the Tigers 17-7 at home in that game. Fulton's last road victory versus Kirksville before Tuesday came on April 20, 2011, when it won 7-0.
"It's great," Lorentzen said. "The program, since I've been involved with in 2016, has never beat Kirksville in any years. So, it's a huge monkey off the back, like right away to take not only as a first, the first conference game, just I mean, personal in general, because I've never beat them at the varsity level, so it's big."
With the result, Fulton improve to 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the NCMC, while Kirksville drop to 0-2 and 0-1.
The Hornets will return to action for their home opener against Fatima (2-0) at 5 p.m. Thursday.
"It just seems like we're always going up against those guys," Lorentzen said. "But, we played good games over them in the past. And I think we got a good chance each year of putting in some really good quality at-bats. I mean, we really put it to them today. Ethan Milius had three hits today. One double, one triple have been that almost one across the fence on the field. That's huge. So, we keep that going and keep pressure on pitchers. I think we got a good chance to put anybody on their heels."