Play ball!

The Pekin baseball team took advantage of uncharacteristic wildness on the mound by Normal West and beat the visiting Wildcats 6-4 Tuesday at Harry Anderson Field in the Dragons’ season opener.

The Dragons scored twice in the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. They drew four walks and there was a hit batter and wild pitch. One run scored on a walk, and one run scored on the wild pitch.

Ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Pekin got some clutch hits to put the game away.

Cole Russell had an RBI double, and Max Jones and Brady Grashoff each had a two-out, RBI single to give the Dragons a 6-2 lead.

“It was nice to see us take advantage of our opportunities to score runs,” said Pekin coach Larry Davis, whose team had more runs (six) than hits (five).

Pekin starting pitcher Nathan Righi got the win. He worked four innings and struck out five.

Riley Bradshaw tossed the final three innings for the Dragons and fanned six in his first varsity game.

Righi and Bradshaw struck out 11 between them and gave up a total of eight hits. Normal West scored twice in the sixth against Bradshaw to cut into Pekin’s lead.

Normal West is a perennially solid team. The Wildcats finished 24-15 last season and advanced to the Class 4A sectional finals.

Pekin was scheduled to play Wednesday at Normal Community in a makeup from Monday, when the game was postponed because of bad field conditions.

The Dragons are slated to play host to Peoria Richwoods at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.