ROCKTON - After being thumped by visiting Hononegah and ace Tyler Statler, 9-2, on Wednesday, Rockford Boylan's Titans did even worse in Thursday's rematch.
Starting pitcher Payton Mather and the HHS offense saw to that.
Mather scattered four hits and struck out five in a 10-0 NIC-10 romp shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
A senior on the varsity for the third season, Mather keyed the Indians' nine-run third inning with a pair of hits, driving in four runs.
"When we cut down on our strikeouts our offense is pretty good," Mather said. "We hit the ball well tonight and scored a lot. It feels great to get out of here with another win against Boylan."
All the runs made it easier, but Mather was really in control anyway.
"Payton would be a No. 1 (starter) on a lot of teams," HHS head coach Matt Simpson said. "He's a really good No. 2 on ours. He came out and battled and his stuff was very good. After having Statler throw real hard at them last night, Payton really had them off-balance. They're a really tough combination to face back-to-back."
Mather, who dropped his earned run average to 1.16, said he used off-speed pitches to keep the Titans batters guessing.
"It was nice to see Tyler go through his routine last night and see what he did against their hitters," Mather said. "I definitely used that to attack them in different ways."
Noah Goddard has the best vantage point of all to watch both HHS starters work.
"It's really fun to catch Statler and Mather," he said. "They command the strike zone. Even when they're down in the count they fight back. Plus we're playing some good defense behind them."
The Indians turned a pair of double plays. The first was a strikeout-caught stealing at third in the first inning.
HHS grabbed the lead in the second inning. Statler doubled leading off against Boylan starter Nick Fehrle, Ryan Blunt singled and Statler came home on an error.
The Indians collected nine hits in the third as they put the game away. In addition to Mather, Braden Sayles and Goddard also had two hits each in the third inning. They started it off smacking three straight doubles.
"The wind was blowing out today and we were taking advantage," Goddard said. "We've hit the ball pretty hard all year."
"We have a bunch of guys with a full year of varsity experience going into this season and they're maturing," Simpson said. "We struggled defensively and with our hitting a little early on, but we've picked those up. Everything is always a little easier when you're scoring runs. You don't play quite as tight in the field. You have a little more freedom to go and make some plays."
With the win, Hononegah improved to 6-0 in league play and 11-5 overall. Boylan, outscored 19-2 in two days by the Indians, slipped to 3-2 in league play and 10-8-1 overall.
• LINESCORE: Hononegah 10, Rockford Boylan 0 (5 inn.).
Rockford Boylan...000 00 - 0 4 1
Hononegah......019 0x - 10 11 1
WP - Mather. LP - Fehrle.
Highlights - Sayles 2x3, 2B; Mather 2x3, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Blunt 2x3.