There were plenty of fireworks at Kate Barr Ross Park on Saturday, and it wasn’t from the annual Fourth of July display.

The Hornets scored nine runs off 11 hits, and Kevin Clarke pitched six solid innings of one-hit ball to lead Huntsville to a 9-5 victory over College Park. With the win, Huntsville improved to 11-12 overall and 4-7 in District 14-5A action.

“We got three (runs) in the third, fourth and fifth, and I thought all three innings we could not have done a better job,” Huntsville head coach Shelby Shaw said. “We put pressure on the defense, we bunted and ran, and they didn’t know what to expect next. It’s a game of momentum, and we got it early tonight.”

The Cavaliers got on the board first in the top of the second inning on a wild pitch by Clarke, but the Hornets answered with three in the third to open up the game.

Mitchell Keathley started things off with Huntsville’s first hit of the game when he singled up the middle. After Keathley stole second, Randy Benevides reached with a one-out infield single, and Tyler Park followed with a walk to load the bases. With two outs, Cameron Lang ripped a two-run double to right to give Huntsville a 2-1 lead.

The final run of the inning came on an infield single by Chase Ledyard that scored Park.

The Hornets opened up the floodgates in the fourth when Buster Butler drew a leadoff walk, and back-to-back singles by Keathley and Tyler Gillespie loaded the bases again. Benevides followed with a chopper over first to score a pair, and Park laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to push the lead to 6-1.

“I challenged the guys before the game to come out and be aggressive at the plate,” Shaw said. “I told them for however many games we got left, I want to see wild-eyed warriors at the plate. They came out and did. I was proud because they made the right adjustments after the first two innings.”

The Hornets added three more runs in the fifth when Butler blasted a double to deep left field that scored Ledyard, who reached on a single. Butler came around to score on another double by Keathley. Huntsville’s final run of the game came when Keathley scored on a wild pitch.

In the meantime, Clarke was cruising on the mound and didn’t allow a hit after a double in the second inning. He struggled early with his control, but came though when the Hornets needed it by recording nine strikeouts.

“They got the one run on a passed ball, but (Clarke) did exactly what we needed him to do, go out there and dominate the strike zone,” Shaw said. “His offspeed stuff wasn’t as good as it usually is, but sometimes that happens. His fastball was good and live, and he did a good job for us.”

The Hornets return to action Monday when they travel to The Woodlands to face the No. 1 state-ranked Highlanders at 7 p.m.

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