The Madisonville Mustangs baseball team picked up a 15-14, walk-off victory at MHS on Tuesday over Elkhart courtesy of a Danny Young grand-slam in the bottom of the seventh and competed in a tournament in Cameron and Rogers over the weekend.
The Mustangs posted 12 runs in the final two innings of last week’s comeback win over Elkhart. They trailed 11-3 entering the bottom of the sixth before they jumped on Elkhart relief pitching and overcame some struggles of their own on the mound.
“It was a game that I wanted to see a lot of pitchers who we will use during tournament season,” said Madisonville baseball coach Adam Borgfeld. “It was an opportunity for a bunch of kids to get on the mound. When you do that, you do not always know how your opponents will respond. But our guys kept fighting and the next thing you know it was 11-11 entering the seventh.”
Just six of the 14 runs surrendered by Madisonville pitching were earned. Starter Brandon Larson allowed three hits and two runs, neither of which were earned, in his two innings on the bump. He was relieved by Asa Surface, Jake Risinger, Gage Smith, Marcos Lopez, Jordan Hager and Colby Sheppard.
Despite the thrilling comeback, the Mustangs lost senior starting catcher Jake Risinger for the remainder of the season on Tuesday with an arm injury. Freshman Cody Borgfeld filled in during the weekend’s action and is expected to fill the role moving forward.
“It is an extremely tough blow to lose your starting catcher,” said Coach Borgfeld. “That is one of the most important positions on any team. That leadership and his bat in our lineup will be hard to replace, but you have to be prepared for injuries to happen and take it day by day.”
The Mustangs finished the Cameron/Rogers Tournament with a record of 1-3 with a victory over Gatesville and losses to Caldwell, Clifton and Whitney.
On Thursday, Madisonville fell to Caldwell 6-1 and to Clifton by a score of 5-2. They were plagued by errors in their first matchup and could never keep up offensively.
“We knew we were going to see some good baseball teams,” said Borgfeld. “We made more errors than anything and that was our biggest issue. It is difficult to win a ball game when you have more errors than hits.”
The Mustangs made five errors and recorded just four hits in the loss. Caldwell jumped on starter Dylan Stanley for five runs in the bottom of the second and never looked back. Brad Rudis was responsible for the team’s only RBI.
The Mustangs saw the same result against Clifton later that day but played considerably better. They held a 2-1 lead entering the top of the sixth inning before allowing four runs. Due to tournament time constraints, the game ended after the top frame and the Mustangs never got a chance to make up the deficit.
“We had an opportunity to get out of the inning but an error costed us,” said Borgfeld. “The final score does not indicate the way this game went.”
Larson, who would drive in one of two Mustang runs in the outing, also started the game on the mound and recorded three innings with one run allowed. He was relieved by Smith and Lopez.
On Friday, the Mustangs saw a stellar pitching performance by starter Max Allen and took down Gatesville by a score of 6-1. Allen went all five innings, allowing four hits and one run. Young recorded two hits, including a triple, and brought home a pair of runs.
In the weekend’s final matchup against Whitney, Madisonville saw another impressive pitching performance by Brad Rudis but lost the game 3-1.
“(Rudis) probably had his best performance of the year so far on the bump,” said Borgfeld. “We ran into a great pitcher of theirs and did not execute well offensively. It was just a great game and we did not lose because we made a lot of mistakes.”
Relievers Hager and Allen were able to keep Whitney off of the scoreboard in the final two innings, but the Mustangs could not make up the deficit. Whitney’s Nate Callaway went all six innings, striking out seven.
The Mustangs were scheduled to host Giddings at MHS on Tuesday, but the game has been changed to April 13 because of the cold weather. They will compete in a tournament in La Grange over the weekend.