Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Panthers take the field

Mt. Pleasant baseball team plays nine at Busch Stadium
Jul 02, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Jordan Magnani connects with a pitch during Mt. Pleasant's 8-6 loss to Ottumwa at Busch Stadium on Saturday night.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

ST. LOUIS — The Mt. Pleasant and Ottumwa baseball teams got the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday night. The Panthers and Bulldogs faced off at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for a contast that lasted almost an hour into Sunday morning.

The high school nightcap was much more competitive than the 11-4 Atlanta Braves win preceding it. The two high schools quads fought back and forth for nine innings, which ended with Ottumwa squeaking out an 8-6 win.

The game was a defensive struggle early on. Ottumwa ace Jarrett Blunt kept the Panthers scoreless through the first three innings, and the Bulldogs scored a run in the top of the second with an RBI single. After three innings, Mt. Pleasant trailed 1-0.

Ottumwa stretched the lead to 4-0 with a three-run top of the fourth, but Mt. Pleasant’s offense was ready to roll in the bottom half of the inning. Mt. Pleasant rallied back with five scores.

Rylan Seberg and Cooper Huckabone started the fourth inning off with back-to-back triples to left field. Caleb Potts followed Huckabone’s RBI-triple with an RBI-single to cut the Ottumwa lead to 4-2. Then, with the bases loaded and two outs, Zach Beason laced another triple to left, bringing home three runs and giving the Panthers a 5-4 lead.

Noah Walls stretched the Mt. Pleasant lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth. He singled in what turned out to be the final Panther run of the game.

Ottumwa loaded the bases in the top of the seventh inning. The Bulldogs walked in a run to cut the Mt. Pleasant lead to 6-5. An infield single tied the game at 6-6, and the game stayed tied until the ninth inning.

The Bulldogs added two more runs in the top of the ninth inning, putting Mt. Pleasant’s back against the wall in the bottom of the ninth. Nik Coble singled to lead off the inning but the Panthers couldn’t push him across and had to settle for the two-run loss.

“I thought our guys played well,” head coach Brent Broeker said about the game. “We fell behind, fought back to get a lead and unfortunately gave it up in the end. You never know how the kids are going to play when its something like that. I thought they were composed and did a good job.”

Mt. Pleasant threw six different pitchers in the game. Colby Potts, Beason, Jordan Magnani, Bryce Anderson, Jaxon Hoyle and Corbin Broeker all got the chance to throw from a major league mound.

Although the game was played competitively, a host of Panthers were able to be on the field for at least a half inning. Both squads made sure to get as many players as they could into the ball game.

The game was especially valuable for a group of Panther seniors, many of which have been part of the program since their eighth-grade year.

“It was nice that the seniors got to be a part of it,” Broeker said. “They have been a part of the program for five years and it was kind of a reward for all the hard work they have put in over those years. I just wish all those other players that I have coached would of had the chance to have had this opportunity also.”

Broeker also gave thanks for those in the community that made the trip possible. A lot of people had to come together to make the Busch Stadium game happen, from school officials to parents and players helping to sell tickets.

“I want to thank (Scott) Lamm for coordinating the event, (John) Henriksen and the school board for approving the trip, and all the parents and fans who helped sell the tickets to make it possible,” he said.

The Panthers still have plenty of work to do on the field this week, especially with first-place Fairfield coming in to town tonight (Monday) at 5:30. Tonight’s doubleheader will be a big player in the Southeast Conference standings, with Mt. Pleasant entering the night one game behind the Trojans for first. Washington is also still in the hunt, coming into tonight’s games tied with the Panthers for second.

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