Eli Ecton had first-world pitching problems Tuesday night in Wentzville.
He wasn’t sure if he should strike out hitters early in counts, or have a little fun first.
“Braden (Lawson) tells me that when I get a kid into an 0-2 count on two fastballs, not to toy with him,” Ecton said with a grin after his Warrenton VFW Post 2180 Seniors beat Wentzville South, 12-1, in six innings in the season opener. “But I get confident when I get into those 0-2 counts that I can kind of play with the hitter a little bit. It’s nice having a little bit of wiggle room.”
Ecton struck out 12 Wentzville batters while giving up just one hit, and Warrenton hitters worked deep into counts all night.
The Post 2180 Seniors busted the game open in the sixth inning, scoring six runs while batting around.
Lawson, who also caught Ecton’s game behind the plate, went 4-for-4 with four RBIs.
Cody Herzog reached base four times, and Warrenton collected seven walks as a team.
Ecton reached base twice, but it was his performance on the mound that had fans cheering.
“If you can come out and throw well and you have a good defense behind you, it’s going to really help you because you won’t have a lot to worry about,” he said.
Wentzville’s only threatening inning offensively came in the bottom of the first, when a walk and hit-by-pitch put two runners on.
Wright City senior-to-be Tristin Riley stole third and scored when Lawson’s throw went into left field.
Ecton settled down and picked off a runner at second to end the threat.
He would surrender just two base runners the rest of the way.
“It was kind of rough coming off of not pitching for a couple of weeks after the high school season,” he said. “But after a little while I got into a groove and it just felt good after that.”
Warrenton improved to 1-0, and will travel to Elsberry Friday night.
“It was nice having that kind of game in our first game of the season,” Ecton said. “We have a lot of talent. Most of us are varsity baseball players, so I’m excited to see what we can do this summer.”