McLouth baseball sweeps Nebraska team in opening doubleheader
It was a good thing McLouth High senior Jack Courtney brought his bat in the Bulldogs’ home opener Tuesday against Falls City, Neb.
MHS fell behind early but rallied behind Courtney's offensive explosion and came back for a 10-9 victory
Rain, mud, and even some hail challenged both the Bulldog defense and senior starting pitcher Wyatt Hermann, as the Bulldogs trailed 7-0 after two innings of play.
In the fourth, Courtney got McLouth on the scoreboard with a solo home run, but the Bulldogs couldn't keep the offense alive and found themselves down 7-1.
Sophomore pitcher Travis Bartlett stifled Tiger hitters for three scoreless innings and kept McLouth within striking range. Bartlett's efforts limiting the Tigers’ runs proved to be significant, as the Bulldogs put together a big fifth-inning rally.
With one out in the fifth, senior Kevin Gann singled, sophomore Brody Troupe walked and Hermann reached by error. After a Bulldog strikeout, Courtney came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. Still trailing 7-1, Courtney delivered in a big way, smashing a fastball over the left center fence for a bases-clearing grand slam and his second homer of the game. Two batters later, sophomore Tanner Zink connected for a two-run homer of his own and the game was tied, 7-7.
In the top half of the sixth, Falls City strung together a series of hits and took a two-run lead. Trailing, 9-7, in the bottom of the sixth, Jack Courtney once again found himself at the plate with the bases loaded. With one out, a deep drive to the left field alley resulted in a two-run Double and a 9-9 tie.
In the seventh, sophomore pitcher Dante Nelson took over on the mound. After giving up a couple hits, Nelson settled in to strike out two batters and retire the side. In the bottom half, Nelson backed up his pitching performance with a leadoff single. Three batters later, Brody Troupe drove in Nelson for the game-winning run.
“I was glad to see the team handle adversity and battle back,” said MHS coach Kevin Stewart. “Several players stepped up and contributed to this win.”
Sophomore Dante Nelson picked up the win in one inning of work. In total, Jack Courtney went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, and seven RBI.
MHS 14, FALLS CITY 5
The offensive momentum generated by the Bulldogs in the late innings of Game 1 carried over into the nightcap as the Bulldogs took Game 2 of the doubleheader, 14-5.
Leadoff hitter Sam Rainey and Zink fueled the offense. Rainey reached base all four at bats, going 3-for-4 with a double and 4 RBI. Zink also filled the stats sheet going 2-for-2 with a double, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored.
Nelson contributed both on the mound and at the plate. The starter picked up the win (2-0), pitching three innings and striking out five. Nelson also had 2 hits and 2 RBI in the game.
Courtney continued to put up power numbers with a solo home run in the third inning. The homer was his third of the year.
After McLouth jumped out to a comfortable 14-5 lead through four innings, the Tigers elected to end the game by forfeit due to lack of pitching personnel and travel schedule.
The Bulldogs moved to 2-0 on the year and will take on defending Class 3A state champion Wellsville on Thursday. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. at the McLouth Sports Complex.