How bunting from Hunter Hutchinson helped lift Sallisaw to a win against Muldrow
SALLISAW - In the early going of his senior season, Sallisaw's Hunter Hutchinson had some difficulty at the plate.
Since the early jitters, however, Hutchinson has been able to string together several hits.
"Early on, I didn't see the ball very well, and now, it seems like every time I step to the plate, it's like a beach ball, and I'm just crushing it," Hutchinson said.
Last week, he went 3-for-4 as the Black Diamonds decisively beat Skiatook, 16-1. Tuesday, Hutchinson went 3-for-4 again to help Sallisaw defeat Muldrow, 10-4.
Two of those hits, however, were on bunt singles. Those came in the fifth and sixth innings, as Sallisaw scored seven runs in that span.
Hutchinson's second bunt single helped start a four-run bottom of the sixth after Muldrow scored three in the top of the sixth to pull the score to 6-4.
"My first at-bat, I was struggling," Hutchinson said. "My second at-bat, I came out and bunted for a single; got up there again, bunted again, safe."
In addition, Hutchinson had two stolen bases and scored three runs.
A shortstop, Hutchinson has been a starter since his freshman season, when he originally played left field.
"We had our shortstop go down, so we moved our second baseman to short, and I played second base the rest of the year," Hutchinson said. "My sophomore year, we had Justin Richards. He was our (All-State) shortstop, but when he was on the mound, I was at short. He kind of ended up with an elbow injury, so I kind of took over short, and then I've just been there ever since."
Hutchinson also played a variety of positions on the Sallisaw football team, primarily cornerback and wide receiver. But a shoulder injury limited his role, so Hutchinson tried a different avenue - placekicking.
"I was talking to Coach (Randon) Lowe about just playing around and kicking field goals, and he said if I can make them, I can kick," Hutchinson said. "So as soon as he said that, I went over to the practice field and started kicking, and I ended up becoming the kicker."
Though he enjoyed kicking, and playing football in general, Hutchinson lives for baseball.
"It's just something I grew up playing all my life; I played football all my life, but baseball, it hits my heart more," he said.
Isaac Sizemore and Bailey Mattingly each had two RBI singles Tuesday, while senior pitcher Landon Massey held Muldrow to six hits over six innings, striking out seven.
Sallisaw (12-8) also moved to 7-1 in district play, tied with Poteau atop District 4A-8.