Billy Owens for the Boston Globe
BRIGHTON -- Brighton High avenged a season-opening loss to West Roxbury on Thursday afternoon by shutting out the Raiders 11-0 in a 5-inning mercy-rule game at Rogers Park.
Senior pitcher Chris DeLouchrey (3-1), who allowed 11 hits in the first meeting between the two teams, struck out 10 batters on Thursday and only allowed two hits. He also went 3 for 3 from the plate with an RBI.
"The first game I wasn't ready personally," said DeLouchrey, who transferred to Brighton after spending three years at Dedham High. "My first game for last year and the year before was always tough for me. The first game coming out I couldn't throw a strike. I wasn't throwing how I could throw. Our team, we didn't know how to play with each other. It was just a tough game because we weren't ready for it.
"[We] came out and they hit. They backed me up hitting. They backed me up fielding. No errors, nothing, they backed me up."
Brighton coach Bill Mahoney agreed his team wasn't ready to play the season opener.
"We had people playing out of positions, we had people who were injured and we didn't come up big that first game," said Mahoney, who noted that his team was able to take extra batting practice this week. "We came out yesterday on and took some batting practice, we hit and we hit and we hit. Everybody got a bucket and a half and we came out smoking today.
"So practice pays off."
That extra BP was evident immediately as Brighton batted around and scored six runs in the opening inning.
"That backed me up too, that made me feel a lot more comfortable," DeLouchrey said. "Sometimes I get worked up, but I had a lot of leeway."
Senior catcher Jonathan Morrero was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a triple.
"I thought it was going over the fence, it could have been an inside the park [home run] but I was looking at it too much," Morrero said. "It was a good pitch, a good swing I just so happened to hit that ball. There?s nothing too it."
Sophomore infielder Reynaldo Moreta was 2 for 2 with three RBIs.
"Aggressive, we came out aggressive, we jumped on them first," Moreta said.
"We gotta keep it like that. We gotta keep hitting, playing defense, defense wins games. Be aggressive all the time."
The Bengals improved to 3-2 and 3-1 in the Boston City League South conference to knock West Roxbury (7-2, 3-2) out of first place in the conference standings.
Westie coach Cliff Wilson noted that Brighton still has four conference games to go while his squad has played the bulk of its conference schedule.
"They have to play a lot of teams yet," Wilson said. "We feel we're going to regroup. We're going to be fine. We're going to come back and be very, very competitive.
"We haven't hit all week and it really hurt us. Today we were slow at the bats. We're a lot better hitting team and I just think the whole chemistry is off right now. But we're going to be heard from and we're hoping to be in the Cities before this thing is through."
Wilson said his starting shortstop, catcher and one of his best outfielders are out injured, but should be back soon.
"The first game of the season I thought we were more prepared," he said. "We've had a lot of injuries, we've had three guys go down with injuries and it's really hurt our team. We're going to get some of these guys back.
"Six runs [in the first inning], it's demoralizing in the first inning to be down that quickly. I think our pitcher [senior Jonathan Bonilla Deleon] didn't throw the ball that badly. They just hit the ball really, really well."
While there is still a lot of baseball to be played, Brighton is happy to be in first place for now.
"It means a lot, I don't remember the last time we were in first place," Morrero said. "Probably my freshman year, we came in second [that year]. All we gotta do is keep it that way. We have a good rotation of pitchers, good infield and our middle is probably the best in the city."
Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
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