Conotton rallied from three runs down with three in the sixth inning and six more in the seventh inning, stealing an 11-5 win away from Malvern.
"The seventh inning did a number on us," commented Head Coach Matt Chiurco. "Conotton had two on with 2 outs and the game tied at 5-5. Austin Patterson threw what everybody watching thought was strike three and it just kind of snowballed on us after that.
"I thought we played well enough to win up to that point, but we have to make the routine plays. That really hurt us tonight.
"I thought Gavyn was very good tonight after the first inning. He might have been able to go another inning, but with it being the first game and a little cool, I didn't want to risk him getting hurt. He also helped himself out at the plate with four hits. That was the best game I've ever seen him play and that's a good sign.
"It's only the first week, so we have a lot of games left."
Potts pitched the first four innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. He struck out two and walked three.
Patterson went the final three innings, giving up nine runs on seven hits and six walks.
Offensively, Potts was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and four stolen bases; Drew Hutchison had two hits, three stolen bases, two runs scored and an RBI; Jake Foster had a hit and run scored; and Jaret Majestic drew three walks, drove in a run, scored a run, and stole a base.
Hiland - 9
Malvern - 0
The Hornets were limited to four hits against the defending Division III state champions.
Hutchison singled twice, and Potts and Jordan Browning each had a base hit.
Majestic started on the mound, allowing five runs, four earned, on three hits and four walks.
Hutchison went the next four innings, giving up four earned runs on three hits and four walks, striking out two.
Jake Foster pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Malvern will host Strasburg on Monday, April 10; and travel to Hiland on Tuesday, April 11, and to East Canton on Wednesday, April 12.