But that didn't happen.
Instead, Masuk's third baseman misplayed the grounder and was too late to throw the runner out at first. The inning was extended, and the Panthers were never able to come back from the early deficit.
Staples capitalized on the Panthers' three first-inning errors as it scored four runs and never looked back on its way to an 11-2 rout Saturday.
"Having three errors, and a mental error with a dropped fly ball in the first inning, really set the tone for our guys," Masuk coach Ralph Franco said. "We just didn't bounce back from that. You spot any team like that four runs in the first inning and it's kind of tough to come back."
Madison threw 35 pitches and faced nine batters in that first inning. He pitched into the fourth inning before conceding another two runs to the Wreckers. Neither Madison nor the two other relief pitchers could find any success against the top of the Staples order.
Sam Ellinwood and Bryan Terzian reached base in all of their combined 10 plate appearances for Staples. Ellinwood was 4-for-4 with four singles and a walk and Terzian was 4-for-4 with three singles, a double, a walk and two RBI.
"All the pitchers struggled today with throwing curveballs for strikes," Franco said following the game. "We only threw four curveballs for strikes all day. It's tough. When a good hitting team like that is just sitting on fastballs, we're not going to be successful on the mound."
For Staples, Ryder Chasin pitched five shutout innings and allowed just three hits in his season debut on the mound.
"My sidearm stuff was really working for me," Chasin said. "I had good location, broke one off really nice which I didn't get to do in the preseason. My pitches were working all right. I had a feel for my changeup and my fastball location was pretty spot on as well. I've got to give credit to Yokoi as well for calling a great game."
While Staples had strong performances from its pitchers and hitters, Masuk struggled in both areas. Staples added to its four-run lead in the fourth inning.
James Frusciante led off the inning with a single. Ellinwood then walked, which set the table for Terzian, who then drove in Frusciante for his second RBI of the game. Still, with no outs and runners on first and third, Matt Smith hit a fly ball to Austin Ryan in right field. The ball dropped out of his glove and allowed another run to score, giving Staples a 6-0 lead with runners on second and third.
That sequence would end Madison's day. Franco called in Chris Lundquist, who walked Yokoi to load the bases. Lundquist faced six batters and got out of the jam only giving up two runs to make it an 8-0 game.
"It's a really good sign," Staples coach Jack McFarland said. "Yesterday (Friday) we won 4-1 and we had some situations where we could have blown the game open, but today we turned that around and actually did."
Smith, Yokoi and Nick Vega all had an RBI off Lundquist in the fifth inning. He was replaced by Austin Ryan with two outs. Ryan thwarted the Staples bats over the next 2 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and striking out three.
With two outs in the seventh inning Bryan Moraco lined a double into center, scoring two for Masuk.
STAPLES 11, MASUK 2
STAPLES 400 430 0 --11 14 0
MASUK 000 000 2 -- 2 6 5
Records: Staples 3-0, Masuk 1-1.