A comeback victory in game one secured a Southeast Conference split for the Mt. Pleasant baseball team on Monday night. The Panthers took on first-place Fairfield, storming back in game one for a 5-3 win before falling 6-4 in game two.
Panther starter Bryce Anderson had a tough start to game one, giving up three runs in the first inning, but was nearly untouchable in his other five innings of work. That gave the Panther offense time to make up for lost ground.
The Panthers cut the lead to 3-1 on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. In the fifth, Nik Coble tied the game with a two-RBI single. Jaxon Hoyle had an RBI single of his own and Mt. Pleasant scored one on a wild pitch to steal take a 5-3 lead.
Trace White came in to close the game out in relief. He shut the Trojans down in the seventh inning and Mt. Pleasant scored a big victory.
Anderson got the win on the mound, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out eight batters.
The Panthers jumped out to a lead in game two as well, scoring a run in the first inning and two in the second to take an early 3-0 lead. Fairfield tied the game up in the third, however, with three of their own.
The Panthers re-took the lead in the bottom of the third inning, plating a runner to go up 4-3. Fairfield took their first lead of the game with two runs in the fourth, and tacked on a run in the sixth on and RBI single.
Mt. Pleasant had a threat in the bottom of the seventh, despite the first two batters of the inning getting out. Jaxon Hoyle walked and Chase Lamm singled to give the Panthers two on with two outs. White came up and laced the first pitch he saw to deep left-center field, but the Trojan center fielder was shifted over perfectly to catch the ball and end the threat.
“I thought we did a great job tonight,” head coach Brent Broeker said after the games. “I thought the first couple of innings the guys looked kind of scared, and once they couldn’t blow it open on us and we came back to win that first game, our guys came back with a lot of confidence in game two.”
Broeker says sticking with the top team in the conference after starting the year with little varsity experience helped build the team’s confidence for the games to come.
“I told them, ‘We’re right with these guys,’” he says, “Nothing to hang our heads about tonight. We played well.”
White started the second game, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks over three and one-third innings of work. Coble came in to relieve White, giving up a run on two hits and three walks, while striking out five batters in three and two-thirds innings.
Hoyle went 2-3 with an RBI in game two. Corbin Broeker had two RBIs to lead the squad.
Mt. Pleasant is now 6-5 overall this season and 5-3 in conference play. That puts them one game behind Fairfield and Washington for first place. They’ll host Keokuk in their next doubleheader, on Thursday, June 13.