Christian Hauck continues to look dialed in early on this season.
The Kitchener Panthers (6-1) got seven shutout innings from their young 22-year-old veteran --- he just celebrated a birthday Thursday --- as part of a 9-1 rout of the Brantford Red Sox (1-5) Saturday afternoon.
Hauck surrendered just three hits in his third start of the year, walking two and striking out five to get his first win of the season.
This, after pitching seven strong last Sunday in Brantford, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits in what turned out to be a 5-4 win in 11 innings.
Hauck didn’t have to wait long to get some insurance on this occasion, as Tanner Nivins cranked the second pitch he saw over the left field fence for a lead-off HR in the first.
From there, the offense kept coming.
Mike Gordner hit a sacrifice fly ball to left field in the third to score Jeff Hunt.
And then on his next at bat in the fifth, Gordner drove in a pair of runs on a one-out double to increase the lead to four runs.
After Hunt nabbed an RBI in the sixth, the Panthers scored four times in the seventh to balloon their lead to nine.
Brantford would break the shutout bid on an eighth inning fielding error, but couldn’t get any closer.
Mother Nature almost closed this one out early, with the rain starting early in the top of the ninth inning, but the Panthers closed it out.
Kitchener continues their homestand Sunday afternoon, when the London Majors pay a visit to Jack Couch Park.
First pitch goes just after 2:00 p.m.