Coronado pitcher Issiah Sisneros won't overpower hitters on the mound. He'd rather refer them to his defense.
"I don't throw too hard and don't strike too many people out, but I have an amazing defense," said Sisneros, who threw an effective, five-inning, complete game as part of the Cougars' home opening 12-2 win on Thursday.
"I want to utilize them," he said.
Sisneros stranded two runners on base in four of five innings and didn't surrender a run until two outs in the fifth.
More times than he could remember, he was tipping his cap in appreciation of his teammates' timely and often spectacular gems.
He got out of the third when Colson Skur darted to the right to snare a hard liner, then got the first two outs of the fifth as Alex Bumpus fought off a swirling wind to run down a deep center-field shot and Joey Callan leaped to take away another extra-base hit.
And then there was the end to the fourth. As the Scorpions took their leads off first and second, catcher Tanner Mayberry's routine toss back to the mound skipped past Sisneros' glove. But the flub turned into a fluke as the ball slid all the way to shortstop Bryce McKee, who attentively tagged out the runner who was trying to get back to the bag.
"We have a great defense, guys that are willing to put their nose in front of it," Coronado coach Trevor Stewart said. "They'll do whatever they can to keep the ball in front of them."
Their aggressive approach didn't stop there, either.
Beau Chauvin, McKee and Bumpus each stole three bases, while Sisneros and Callan were part of a double steal that scored a run.
In all, the Cougars swiped 11 bags.
"If a pitcher isn't paying enough attention to me I'll take a bag on him," Bumpus said. "I want to use my speed."
Coronado opened the year with three straight victories for the first time since 2010. Sand Creek, meanwhile, lost its first three games for the fourth straight year.
Brady Sides' two-run triple cut the lead to 12-2 with two outs in the fifth before Issiah Hernandez grounded out to end the game.
Quinton Clark added a double to start the game but was left stranded. He also had two deep drives that were tracked down by Bumpus in center field.
"Sometimes it takes a loss like this for things to start clicking," Sand Creek coach Ed Nelson said. "So, we'll see."
The Cougars have outscored the opposition 42-13 this season.