SPRING HILL — If it is possible, undefeated Springstead tightened its stranglehold on Class 5A, District 7.
Playing Forest for the second time this season, the Eagles knocked off the Wildcats 10-0 Thursday in only six innings behind the strong pitching of ace Brett Maggard.
The performance was just what Springstead (9-0) needed to boost its confidence after squeezing out a 5-3 victory over this team in late February, when Maggard surrendered seven walks in 12/3 innings before being pulled.
This time, the junior hurler showed how far he has come on his road to recovery from offseason Tommy John surgery. He tossed five innings of two-hit ball, striking out seven and walking three. Two of those free passes came in his final inning of work. He struck out the side in that frame.
"Everything's getting better now," Maggard said. "I am feeling my pitches more, and I don't have to worry about anything with my defense because they do a great job behind me."
The hitting star for the Eagles was catcher Matt Adams. The senior went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and three RBIs. Coach Frank Vitale singled out Adams because the catcher had been slumping at the plate.
"We hit everything solid tonight, but it was good to see that out of (Adams)," Vitale said. "He's been struggling, and this was a breakout game for him."
Forest (4-6) is expected to be the Eagles' top competition for the district title. Confidence was a key word after the victory.
"I don't think we're lacking confidence," Vitale said, "but with all the distractions, it's hard getting teenagers to play night in and night out."