WESLEY CHAPEL — As summer travel ball teammates, Wiregrass Ranch's Zack Drury and Steinbrenner's Cole Gordon were geared up to face one another in Tuesday's Class 7A, District 9 opener between unbeaten teams.
Gordon drove in Steinbrenner's first run with a two-out single off Drury in the first inning. Later, he exacted revenge from being hit with a pitch by Drury's brother, Austin, by belting two homers in the same inning.
That eight-run fifth, in which Gordon blasted a two-run homer to centerfield and a towering solo shot to rightfield, fueled the Warriors' 11-0 win that ended in that frame because of the 10-run mercy rule.
"We're good friends," Gordon said of Zack Drury. "I know you've got to have a good at-bat to get a hit off him."
Added Steinbrenner coach John Crumbley: "The biggest thing for Cole was the two-out base hit in the first inning."
Another factor was three double plays turned by the Warriors (3-0) over the first three innings. While those defensive gems thwarted the Bulls' (1-1) offense, there was no stopping the Steinbrenner bats. Of the Warriors' nine hits, four went for extra bases.
Aside from Gordon's blasts, Kevin Merrell hit a two-run triple and Mijon Cummings had a run-scoring double.