The Madisonville Mustangs baseball team dropped a pair of Area playoff matchups to the Robinson Rockets in Cameron on Friday by scores of 9-3 and 12-2, eliminating them from postseason play.
“I thought it was a great season,” said Coach Adam Borgfeld. “The kids played hard and we battled through some injuries early on. We were coming off of a really good season last year and the expectations are always high here. I was very pleased with the effort from the players this year.”
The Mustangs were plagued by miscues in both contests, committing nine total errors in both games combined.
The Rockets were able to build a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game one off of starting pitcher Brandon Larson with three free passes and a pair of singles. Larson would appear to settle in after a rough first and Madisonville was able to crawl back in.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth, Brad Rudis delivered a clutch, two-out single to plate Kody Nye and Jordan Baker to cut the deficit to one. Robinson’s offense, however, would post at least one run in each of their remaining at-bats. A number of errors would contribute to this and allow the Rockets to put runners in scoring position. None of the three runs surrendered in the final two innings by reliever Max Allen were earned.
Robinson collected all of the insurance they would need in the later innings and the Mustangs were unable to put another run across the plate in their final three at-bats.
“They hit the ball so well,” said Borgfeld. “No matter who you put on the mound, they were able to adjust and hit it hard. They had good pitching and their catcher kept us from moving on the base paths. It is difficult to do a lot of things when you cannot put guys in scoring position.”
In game two, the Mustangs got off to a promising start against the Rockets with a two-spot in the top of the third inning. Madisonville was the acting visiting team in game two after playing the home team in game one.
The early lead was courtesy of a two-RBI single off the bat of Brandon Larson with one man out in the third. The knock brought home both Rudis and Allen. The Mustangs would then load the bases and have a golden opportunity for more, but Robinson starter Jordan Rogers was able to work his way out of the jam with a strikeout and a fielder’s choice.
The Rockets would pounce in the bottom half of the frame. They took advantage of a pair of walks and error and coupled them with four singles to take the lead. An error in the outfield allowed Robinson to clear the bases and cap off a five-run inning. They would pick up where they left off with four more in their next at-bat and never looked back.
“I do not think we had an error in the outfield all season in that capacity,” said Borgfeld. “I was surprised that we had two in one night, but it happens. Unfortunately it happened at the wrong time.”
Throughout the remainder of the game, the Mustangs were unable to put another runner on base against Robinson pitching. This allowed Robinson to secure the victory with a three-spot in the bottom of the sixth inning, bringing the run-rule into play.
The Rockets advance to the Regional Quarterfinals to meet Hudson. The winner will battle either Hardin-Jefferson or Hargrave with a trip to the State Tournament on the line.
The Mustangs, meanwhile, were eliminated by Robinson in the playoffs for the second straight season. Last year, they fell in the Regional Quarterfinals to the Rockets, also in Cameron.