Panthers falter against Ft. Madison
FAIRFIELD — Mt. Pleasant had a shaky start and never recovered, unable to do much damage at the plate in Friday night’s district contest against Ft. Madison. The Panthers fell to the Bloodhounds by a score of 5-2.
“Our top of the order struggled at the plate,” Broeker said. “We couldn’t get anything going.”
The first four batters for Mt. Pleasant went a collective 0-for-12 on the night. Even when they connected, the Panthers couldn’t find a gap, and they finished the game with just five hits.
“We didn’t put much pressure on them,” Broeker said. “Even when we had runners at first and second with nobody out (in the seventh inning), we couldn’t get the lead runner across.”
The Bloodhounds had nine hits, including four in the first inning when they scored three of their runs.
It was the third inning of the game before the Panthers got a baserunner.
No. 7 hitter Tyler Pace singled to right field to start off the third frame, in which the Panthers would score their only runs.
Justin Chalupa then singled and went to second on an overthrow, as the Bloodhounds attempted to throw Pace out at third.
Alex O’Donnell reached on a fielder’s choice when the Ft. Madison again tried to throw Pace out, this time at home, but Panther junior beat the throw. Mt. Pleasant was left with runners at first and third with one out.
The Panthers then cut Ft. Madison’s lead to one, as Chalupa stole home while the Bloodhounds had O’Donnell in a rundown between first and second.
Chalupa finished the game 2-for-3, leading the Panthers at the plate. Other hits came from Pace, Jacob Dilks and Carson Remick.
Collin Eaves pitched for the Bloodhounds. He walked no one and struck out five in the complete game effort.
Starting on the mound for Mt. Pleasant was Connor Shull. The rival pitchers will become teammates this fall, as both Eaves and Shull move on to a college career at SCC in Burlington, along with Ft. Madison’s John Nagel.
In Friday’s game, Shull gave up eight hits and two walks for five runs. He fanned four in 4 2/3 innings.
“Shull hadn’t pitched for a week, and he was leaving everything up early, but in the second inning, he settled down and was very effective,” Broeker said.
Alex Moore pitched in relief, going 1 1/3 innings and giving up just one hit. He struck out two.
“Moore pretty much shut the door on them,” Broeker said.
But the Panthers couldn’t generate enough offense for a comeback, and the team ended the season with a record of 17-13.
Shull and Moore are two of the team’s seniors; the Panthers also graduated O’Donnell, Dilks and Devyn Broeker.
“We’ll miss them; they’re all pretty good kids,” Brent Broeker said. “We will be solid next year, but what we lose with this group is a lot of pitching.”
Shull, Dilks, Moore and Broeker all spent some time on the mound this season.
“(O’Donnell) had a rough baseball career as far as injuries,” Brent Broeker said. “His only full season was his freshman year. He ended up being one of those guys who filled in spots, even though freshman year he was going to be my starting shortstop all the way through. Still, he proved to be a very valuable member of the team.”
District play continues tonight as Ft. Madison takes on Fairfield at Fairfield at 7 p.m. The Trojans defeated Washington by a score of 5-2 on Friday.
FT. MADISON vs. MT. PLEASANT
Mt. Pleasant 002 000 0 — 2
Ft. Madison 300 110 x — 5
WP — Collin Eaves
LP — Connor Shull
Mt. Pleasant — Alex O’Donnell: 0-3, RBI. Jacob Dilks: 1-3. Carson Remick: 1-3. Tyler Pace: 1-3, run Justin Chalupa: 2-3, run. Steals — Chalupa.
Ft. Madison — John Nagel: 2-3, 2B, BB, run. Miles Wentzien: 1-4, RBI. Jonathan Temenak: 1-3, run. Jacob Riley: 0-2, BB, 2 runs. Collin Eaves: 3-3, 2 RBI. Billy Coppage: 1-3, RBI. Ryan Snaadt: 1-3, run. Tate Pumphrey: 0-2, SAC. David Guzman: 0-2, RBI. Steals — Nagel.