McLouth baseball splits with Oskie to end regular season
McLouth baseball vs. Oskaloosa
The McLouth High baseball team ended its regular season Thursday with a split against Oskaloosa.
McLouth Through the first 18 games of the regular season, the McLouth High baseball team was an even .500. Perhaps it was fitting that the Bulldogs kept that trend alive in their final two contests.
MHS split a doubleheader with Oskaloosa on Thursday, winning 15-5 in the opener and losing 17-1 in the nightcap. With the split, coach Kevin Stewart's squad wrapped up the regular season at 10-10.
"Like I told the guys, we were 0-20 two years ago, so we've made a lot of improvement," Stewart said. "It's come from hard work. This year has been up and down. It's really been about when our pitchers throw strikes and when they don't throw strikes. It's been a little bit about inconsistency, but we're getting there."
The Bears (10-6) jumped out to an early lead in the first game, scoring one run each in the first and second innings, but the Bulldogs went in front for good with a seven-run third. MHS sent 11 hitters to the plate and recorded five hits in the frame.
One inning later, the Bulldogs added a three-spot to extend their lead to 10-2. The teams traded a run in the fifth and the Bears scored again in the sixth, but MHS scored three in the bottom of the sixth to put the mercy rule into effect.
Farris got the win on the mound, striking out eight hitters and walking two over six innings.
"In the first game, what really started us out was our pitching," Stewart said. "We were throwing strikes and getting ahead in the count."
Farris helped his own cause at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three runs batted in. Hunter Steffey also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Offense wasn't as easy to come by in the second game, as MHS managed just one run in five innings. After falling behind 3-0, the Bulldogs got on the board when Farris singled and scored on a passed ball in the third. However, OHS reeled off a six-run fourth to silence any thoughts of a comeback. The Bears added eight more in the fifth for the final margin of victory.
"Offensively, it just came better in the first game," Stewart said. "In the second game, we got down and we were trying to do everything with the first pitch. We were being almost too aggressive and chasing pitches out of the zone."
The Bulldogs will be back in action Monday when they open regional play. They are the No. 3 seed in the Riverside (Wathena) regional and will face sixth-seeded Pleasant Ridge at 5 p.m. The teams split a doubleheader on April 2 at McLouth.
"It helps having seen them because we know who hit our pitchers," Stewart said. "Other than that, it's more about what we do offensively and throwing strikes. We've got to just take care of our own business."
OHS 110 021 X — 5
MHS 007 314 X — 15
OHS 012 68X X — 17
MHS 001 00X X — 1