KINGMAN - Bats are sizzling, pitching is dazzling and the Kingman Academy High baseball team is off to a fast start to the 2014 season, winning its first four games.
The Tigers blasted Ash Fork in the regular season opener Thursday in Ash Fork behind Tarik Skubal's three home runs, 13-1. Kingman Academy went 3-0 to start the Bagdad Copper Classic with wins over Bagdad (7-2), Wickenburg (9-3) and Williams (13-5). Tournament games do not count toward state seedings.
"This is a good tune up. These teams aren't bad," said KAHS coach Bill McCord. "They're better than who we played last year. We've had to make some defensive plays because these teams put the ball in play."
Against Ash Fork, Skubal came a home run short of the state record of four in a game shared by seven hitters.
The last to do so was Show Low's Zach Winn, who hit four against Round Valley last year. Before Winn, no one had done it since 1999.
"The first two he hit were lasers - they were rockets," McCord said. "The third one went about 460 feet. He got some elevation on it and the wind was blowing."
In the Williams win, Westin McCord hit a grand slam that broke the game open. McCord and Breyden Potter each had three hit games, and Cody Quick picked up the win on the mound.
Against Wickenburg, McCord got the pitching start and threw three perfect innings before giving the ball over to Josh Allen. Kingman Academy used a six-run second inning to put the Wranglers away, and Allen earned the win.
Austin Tomlinson threw a complete game in the Tigers' win over Bagdad and didn't surrender an earned run. Tomlinson, McCord and Quick each had two hits for Kingman Academy.
"We're playing solid," McCord said. "Our bats were a little bit out of sync Friday, but we sure came out swinging today (Saturday)."
Through the four games, McCord has seven hits, Potter 6, Tomlinson 5, and Skubal, Chy Banda and Quick each have four.
The Tigers were scheduled to play Bagdad in a semifinal game, and the championship game was set to start late Saturday. Neither result was available by deadline.