The Madisonville baseball team picked up a non-district victory over Navasota as well as some rest as they competed in just one game over the last week.
“We’re using off dates and weekends to make sure our entire staff stays game ready,” said Madisonville baseball coach Keith Sitton. “One of the most difficult things to do when you have the number of pitchers we do is to keep them all sharp and give them enough innings.”
Mustang pitching was in its usual form against the Rattlers on Thursday in the 7-2 win. Bryce Bennett settled down after he allowed a run in the opening inning and would allow just one more unearned score in his outing that lasted five innings. Brad Rudis finished off the game and allowed just one more hit. All told, Madisonville pitching struck out eight Rattlers and surrendered four hits.
On top of the continued success on the mound, the Mustang offense has also come to life at just the right time. Sitton has stated in the past that he feels comfortable enough with just a few runs per game to support his pitchers, but his hitters have delivered much more of late.
“Our offense has steadily improved since district started,” said Sitton. “The top of our order has gotten very hot with Sam Bennett, Ben Phillips, Zach Poe and Will Hudson all hitting over 400 the last 10 days, which has also led to a 3-run increase in production per game.”
On Thursday, Madisonville used the early innings to establish a decisive lead over Navasota and never looked back. Bennett, Poe, Hudson and Rudis all picked up an RBI and Corey Shuck picked up a pair. Bennett led the game with three hits.
Along with the second half of district play, the Mustangs have added marquee Saturday opponents to help prepare for the postseason. Every non-district opponent they have faced thus far since spring break is either in first or second place in their respective districts. They have added playoff caliber opponents Liberty, College Station and China Springs to the non-district schedule the rest of the way.
“We expect this to make us battle tested once the postseason comes around,” said Sitton. “Hopefully our level of play will continue to improve because we need to play at a high level to finish off the regular season the right way.” Madisonville got back to their district slate and hosted Fairfield last night. They will take on Athens in Madisonville on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Liberty on Saturday at 1 p.m.