The Highland High School baseball team split two Mississippi Valley Conference games at Glik Park after the Bulldogs mauled the visiting Jerseyville Panthers 11-5 on April 24 before being bitten by the visiting Waterloo Bulldogs 13-6 on Thursday.
Going 1-1 moved Highland’s overall record to 12-6-1 and its conference ledger to 2-4.
The Bulldogs’ games at Belleville East on Friday and at home against Collinsville on Saturday were rained out.
Waterloo 13 Highland 6
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Waterloo never trailed after pushing across three runs in each of its first two at-bats to take a 6-1 lead after an inning and half. HHS closed within one run after following a one-run second with a three-run third.
Waterloo increased its advantage by a run in the fourth to go up 7-5, only to see Highland match it in the home half of the fifth to pull back within one.
But six runs would be all for HHS while Waterloo put the game away with a five-spot in the sixth and closed the game out with a single tally in the seventh.
Highland pitchers Jake Ramsey and Steven Diaz were roughed up by Waterloo.
Ramsey started and only was able to record four outs before being yanked, but not before being tagged for five runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks.
Diaz relieved Ramsey and did not get any help from his defense as he gave up seven runs — just one was earned — on eight hits and four bases on balls. He struck out three.
Dustin Phelps pitched the final inning and was charged with one earned run, one hit and two walks with one strikeout.
Waterloo starter Ben Maurer also had a rocky start, as he permitted six earned runs on six hits and three free passes in five innings.
Dylan Siebenberger relieved Maurer and shut HHS out over the final two frames on one hit with two strikeouts.
Offensively for Waterloo, Hayden Bender and Dalton Viglasky both banged out three hits while Erik Kaiser, Lucas Goodsell and Maurer each rapped out two hits. Kaiser clubbed two doubles, drove in four runs and scored three runs, while Bender also clouted two doubles to with three RBIs, three runs, and two sacrifice flies, and Viglasky had one double, two RBIs and one run.
For Highland, Dylan Knebel and Brock Troxell led the way with two hits apiece. Knebel also knocked in one run.
Collecting one hit each for HHS were Jacob Willis (one RBI, two runs), Garrett Marti (one walk, two runs), Elliott Prott (double, one run) and Connor Pinsker (one run).
Highland 11 Jerseyville 5
The Panthers struck first with two runs in the top of the first inning, but the Bulldogs answered right back with three runs in the bottom half to take the lead for good en route to scoring 11 unanswered runs.
Highland recorded 13 hits with four doubles and a home run.
Chipping in two hits apiece for Highland were Prott, Marti, Dylan Knebel, and Willis.
Prott doubled and drove in a game-high three runs. Marti homered, doubled, knocked in two runs and scored two runs. Knebel doubled with two RBIs and two runs. Willis contributed one double, one walk, one RBI and two runs.
Pinsker was touched up for two runs on three hits and a hit batsman in the top of the first. The junior lefty settled down to blank Jerseyville on three hits and two walks over the next five innings to even his record at 2-2 on the year. His ERA is impressive at 2.12.
Highland quickly responded to Jerseyville’s early two-run rally with a bigger one of its own in the bottom half. Four consecutive batters reached safely to open the at-bat. Marti walked and then back-to-back bunt singles by Troxell and Pinsker loaded the bases.
Willis followed with a RBI single to drive home Marti and an error allowed Troxell to also trot home with the tying run. Knebel then hit a sacrifice fly to left to allow Pinsker to tag and score to put the Bulldogs ahead to stay.
Highland tacked on an insurance run in the second as Dickman singled with one out, advanced to second on Evan Herman’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Marti’s RBI double to left to nudge the lead to 4-2.
In the third, the Bulldogs extended the margin to 6-2 on a two-run double by Prott to plate Willis (walk) and Knebel (double).
Highland blew the game wide open in the fourth after sending eight hitters to the plate and scoring four times to widen the gap to 10-2. Marti sparked the rally by walloping a one-out home run over the fence in left field. It gave Marti the outright lead on the team with two homers this spring.
Then, after the second out was made, four hitters in a row reached base. Pinsker walked and Willis followed with a double. After Pinsker scored on a passed ball, Knebel and Prott smacked back-to-back RBI singles to bring in Willis and Knebel.
The Bulldogs got their final run in the sixth on Braden Rehkemper’s RBI single to left.
Jerseyville scored three runs on three hits off Robert Sigman in the seventh but it was not near enough to catch Highland.