Top-seeded Andover Central asserted its dominance against Circle to start the Class 4A regional tournament at McDonald Stadium in El Dorado Monday.
Nicholas Johnston pitched a perfect game, and the Jaguars' offense got a on roll on way to a 10-0 win via a run rule after five innings. Johnston did not allow a single baserunner the entire afternoon.
Offensively, the Jaguars got on the scoreboard quickly. Ryan Banwart led off Central's first with a single, then stole second. Lucas Milner put runners on the corner with an opposite-field single just over the outstretched glove of Circle's second baseman Cameron Parr. Kier Stamp followed that with an opposite-field roller for a single to drive in Banwart. Circle got out of trouble by turning a 6-4-3 double play to strand a runner and limit the Jaguars' damage.
Central opened it up more in the second inning, with some help from the T-birds. Austin Clark reached on an error to lead off. Circle pitcher Chase Ellison then made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, which allowed Clark to reach third base. Johnston drove him in with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. Brock Shaffer later hit an RBI single, then stole second base. Circle tried to pick him off while stealing third, but the relay was high and went into the outfield as Shaffer scored another run for a 4-0 lead.
Ellison made it just three innings on the mound for Circle. He allowed six hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts and no walks. Braden Kirkpatrick relieved Ellison to start the fourth, but he couldn't slow down the Jaguars, either. Central got two walks, three base hits and three runs before he could get an out. Shaffer crushed a two-RBI double to deep center to push Central's lead to 6-0.
Parr relieved Kirkpatrick with runners on, but it was too little, too late. The Jaguars loaded the bases for Blake Meier, who hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score one run. Clark then hit a sac-bunt to score another run to give the Jaguars a 10-0 lead.
In the fifth, Johnston went 1-2-3 to complete the five-inning perfect game. He finished with six strikeouts.
The Jaguars will face the winner of the Augusta-El Dorado contest later tonight. Augusta swept El Dorado in two games earlier this season.