The Madisonville baseball team collected a pair of wins in games two and three of the Bi-District playoff round against Jasper at MHS on Saturday, including an unfinished matchup from Thursday and an all-out slugfest.
The Mustangs finished off a game two victory they began in Jasper on Thursday after picking it up with one out in the top of the seventh with an 8-7 lead. Dylan Stanley was able to shut the door on any Bulldog comeback hopes to force a third game, which the Mustangs would win 14-10.
“I think by getting those two outs real quickly (in game two) was a morale booster,” said Coach Adam Borgfeld. “I told the boys that we could take care of business if we get to game three. Last week I said I could guarantee them five games: three playoff warmups and the first two playoff games, if you want to play game six you have to earn it.”
After Stanley held on in game two, he remained on the mound to start the rubber match, in which Madisonville acted as the visiting team despite the location. Stanley would remain locked in through three innings, allowing no runs and just one hit.
“We had a job to do and we came out and did it,” said Stanley. “We executed the plays that we needed to get the wins. Having a big early lead is definitely a good feeling when you are pitching and allow someone on.”
While Stanley cruised early, the Madisonville offense exploded for seven runs in the top of the third inning to take a commanding 10-0 lead. Kody Nye and Danny Young each hit two-run homeruns in the inning and Max Allen plated a pair of his own with a single. Nye and Allen both recorded three RBIs in the game to tie for the team lead.
“We were controlling this game and that inning was a big motivator for us,” said Nye. “When we all do our jobs, we can pull out big victories. When we all want the same thing, we kind of mold together.”
The Mustangs were on the verge of picking up the win via run-rule, but the Bulldogs fought back with six runs in the fourth and fifth innings. They would also hit a grand slam in the seventh, but insurance RBIs from Jordan Baker would help seal the 14-10 win.
On Thursday, the Mustangs used a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth in Jasper to help work their way to the eventual 8-7 win to begin Saturday’s action.
A pair of doubles by Rudis and Brandon Larson set the stage for the Mustangs. Rudis, who led off the inning, came around to score on Larson’s two-bagger to left field to tie the game. Young would score later in the inning on a Colby Sheppard sacrifice bunt to take the lead. Sheppard picked up four key RBIs for Madisonville down the stretch.
Earlier on Thursday, the Mustangs fell behind with a 3-2 loss in game one that they would spend the rest of the weekend making up.
Jasper picked up a pair off of starter Larson in the bottom of the first and another in the sixth. Of the three runs allowed by Larson, just two were earned. Cody Borgfeld brought home Nye with an RBI single in the top of the second. Young would cut the deficit to one with an RBI single in the seventh, but the Mustangs were unable to plate the tying run standing on third base.
Madisonville will now advance to the Area Round to face Robinson, who eliminated the Mustangs last season in a single game playoff by a score of 2-0.
“(Robinson) is a big challenge,” said Borgfeld. “They have some great pitchers and a great overall team. It is going to be a heck of a series, but I feel confident that our boys will come out and play hard.”
Due to state testing, teams are not permitted to begin their Area series until Friday. Madisonville and Robinson will convene in Cameron on Friday at 5 p.m. for games one and two. If necessary, a third matchup will take place at Cameron on Saturday at 1 p.m.