Big hits, kicks and jumps
Mascoutah’s baseball team knows how to get hits and when to get hits to secure control of a game.
Holding onto a two-run lead in the bottom of the third, the Indians broke loose for five runs thanks to run-scoring hits from Sam Scott, Jeff Getchell, and Ryan Norwood. They held on for an 8-5 Mississippi Valley Conference victory on their home field Monday.
The game originally was scheduled to be played at Highland but was moved to Mascoutah due to wet field conditions.
The Indians raced to 2-0 and 7-0 leads but had to withstand a late Highland charge due to shaky relief pitching.
“(Logan) Bibb did a great job the first five innings,” Mascoutah coach Don Eddy said. “All in all, we’ve got to do a better job of throwing strikes. We walked more guys today than we have in quite a long time and we’ve got to do a better job of making sure we’re filling up the strike zone.”
Mascoutah (15-1, 3-0) got a head start with two runs in the bottom of the first. Logan Jung and Scott singled home runs to make it 2-0.
Highland starter Payne Waldman settled down in the second inning but ran into trouble again in the third as Scott doubled home a run, Getchell singled in a tally and another run scored from third on an error. Norwood then capped the five-run explosion with a two-run double to left-center, stretching the Indians lead to 7-0.
“I don’t know how many two-out RBIs we had but Sam had several hits and drove in several runs and Norwood had a big two-out hit and Getchell had one, so we did a really good job for the first 4 ½ innings of the baseball game,” Eddy said. “After that we’re going to do a better job of making sure we finish the baseball game.”
Scott was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Logan Moll went 2-for-2 with a run scored. Jung was 3-for-3 with two runs scored as the Indians had nine hits.
For Highland, Waldman struggled early with his command and the Bulldogs defense was a bit unsteady.
“He really struggled and again he went ball four on the leadoff guy in the first and went ball four on the leadoff guy in the third. Any time that happens, it makes it an uphill climb and we didn’t play defense very well behind him,” Highland coach Joel Hawkins said. “That was the frustrating part because we did a lot of poor things there.”
The Indians scored their final run in the fourth for an 8-0 lead. Meanwhile, Mascoutah starter Logan Bibb cruised through five innings with five strikeouts and three walks.
In the top of the sixth, Highland finally broke through, as Chase Wilson and Ross Spies walked. Jacob Willis singled to load the bases before Kolby Frey and Carter Wiegman struck out.
Tyler Werner reached on an error, scoring Wilson. Jack Korte then reached on an infield hit and two runs scored, shaving the lead to 8-3.
Indians hurler Maguire Meunier stopped the rally there, inducing Austin Toler into a grounder to second. Highland scored two more in the seventh, but Moll slammed the door.
Despite dropping back to .500, Highland (6-6, 1-2) enjoyed some bright spots, such as Werner helping turn a 9-4 double at second base that kept the Bulldogs from falling in big hole early.
“That inning could have been a real disaster and our right fielder did a good job, so there were some positive things,” Hawkins said. “It’s weird because we work on defense and we just haven’t been very good defensively yet. Hopefully, we’ll figure out a way to do that.”