The Highland baseball Bulldogs have fallen on hard times, having lost eight of their past nine games.
After snapping a four-game losing skid with a 14-7 non-conference win over Civic Memorial last Thursday, Highland had lost four straight games again with a 5-1setback at Belleville West on Friday, then being swept by visiting Collinsville by scores of 8-5 and 11-1 on Saturday, before dropping a 5-2 home decision on Monday at Glik Park.
Prior to Wednesday’s home game against Triad, the Bulldogs had dipped to 16-9 overall and 3-4 in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
CM 5, HHS 2
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The Eagles didn’t relinquish the lead after scoring four runs in the first inning off Highland senior ace Grant Geppert (5-3), who lost his third straight decision after starting the season 5-0.
CM scored the only four tallies it needed on a walk, an RBI triple from Caleb Buhs, two RBI doubles by Zach Cato and Connor Bryant, and a run-scoring sacrifice fly from Tyler Andrus.
Highland scored its first run in the home half of the third as senior Cody Bentlage reached on an error and then came around to score on Geppert’s RBI single to center field.
CM got the run back in the fifth on an RBI double by Devon Daniels extend the lead back to four at 5-1.
The Eagles (14-13 overall, 4-3 MVC) tagged Geppert for five earned runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He did strike out a half dozen.
Even though it wasn’t enough, senior Matt Augustin did his best to give the Bulldogs a boost. Augustin was solid at the plate, mashing a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning for Highland’s first homer of the season.
HHS junior Sam Greene was effective in relief during his 2 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and no hits while walking only one.
Cato went the distance for CM, yielding only one earned run (two overall) on five scattered hits and two walks. He whiffed four.
Collinsville 11, HHS 1
The Kahoks brought out the brooms for the double-header sweep after out hitting the Bulldogs 13-6.
Jordan Reichert, Mitch Reising, Sean Edrington and Parker Marchbanks rapped out two hits apiece for Collinsville.
Reising also registered the win after surrendering just one earned run and scattering four hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Marchbanks shut out the Bulldogs over the final three innings on two hits and no walks. He punched out four.
Collinsville 8, HHS 5
The Bulldogs led 3-1 after two innings and 4-2 after three, but could not sustain it as the Kahoks rallied to tie it at 4-4 with a two-run fourth and then pushed across two more in the fifth to take the lead for good.
Brandon Harris, Dylan McEwen, Reisinga nd Reichert helped lead Collinsville to the victory as the quartet combined for 10 hits and five RBIs.
Highland did not help its own cause, committing three errors on defense.
Collinsville jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a leadoff solo home run by Reising.
The Bulldogs scored their three runs in the scond on a two-run single from junior Griffin Welz and an RBI single from junior Seth Luitjohan.
After Collinsville’s single tally in the third, Highland scored one run of its own in the third on an RBI single by Geppert.
Collinsville didn’t relinquish the lead after scoring two runs in the fifth inning when it scored on an error and an RBI single by Harris.
Senior Tyler Kimmle suffered the defeat for the Bulldogs after giving up six runs (four earned) on 12 hits in five innings. He struck out three.
Belleville West 5, HHS 1
The fourth inning saw the Bulldogs, who managed just three hits in the game, score their only run on the day on a fielder’s choice.
Bentlage hit a one-out single, went from first to third on a single from Geppet, and scored when Winning hit into an RBI fielder’s choice.
Belleville West responded with the tying run in the fourth. Belleville West scored on an RBI triple Luke Glaeser.
The Maroons then put the game away with a four-run fifth on a two-run single by Matt Klosterman and RBI hits from from Andrew Konya and Jacob Wilson.
Cal Kossina earned the win for West after stifling Highland to the one earned run on three hits and no walks. He fanned three.
Jordan Smith was charged with the loss despite going the distance for the Bulldogs.
Mascoutah 4, HHS 1
Although Daniel Milas’ record was an ordinary 3-3 before pitching against Highland, he was anything but that against the visiting Bulldogs.
Milas, a 6-foot-4 senior right-hander, scattered four hits and conceded just one unearned run.
Milas’ record was 3-3, but he had a 1.35 earned run average prior to the HHS game. But he got his just due when he threw 87 pitches in a complete-game victory over the Bulldogs.
He struck out five and walked only two as he defeated Highland for the second time this season. He scored a 4-3 triumph over the Bulldogs on April 13.
Milas stayed ahead for the majority of the hitters, although he needed 61 pitches to complete the first four innings.
It also helped that Milas got some needed offense from the Nos. 3-4-5 hitters in Mascoutah’s lineup. Catcher Jeff Hightower was 3-for-3 with two doubles and a run batted in. Chase Barnes added an RBI single, and Wyatt Elbe also had an RBI single.
Mascoutah took the lead in the bottom of the first off Geppert.
The 6-foot-3 Hightower crunched a first-pitch, two-out double to right field, and Barnes followed with a single to left to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs tied it in the top of the second, thanks to the speed of junior Andrew Winning, who singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and went to third when Milas tried to pick Winning off second, but threw the ball into center. Then with two outs, Milas walked Sam Greene and had him picked off first, but when Greene got into a rundown, Winning took off from home and scored to tie the game 1-1.
Mascoutah then reclaimed the lead for good in the bottom of the third on a leadoff single by Brendan Schanz, a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher by Mitchell Waeltz, and a ringing single to left by Hightower for a 2-1 advantage.
Then with two outs, Elbe drove a Geppert pitch back up the middle as Austin Wombacher, courtesy running for Hightower, scored from second.
The Indians added their fourth run in the sixth when Geppert wild pitched Michael Chaffin home.
Meanwhile, Milas kept Highland off the scoreboard and, at one time, retired nine in a row after Griffin Welz got a two-out infield single in the top of the second.