BELMONT– Belmont relief pitcher Ethan James drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning, and then held Darlington scoreless over the final two innings as the host Braves edged the Redbirds, 8-7, in a seesaw non-conference baseball game held at BHS on Monday, May 7.
Trailing 2-0 before even stepping up to the plate, the Braves (9-4 overall) scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning to overtake the Redbirds (4-7), and then tacked on two more runs in the third to go up 6-2.
Darlington regained the lead in the top of the fourth with a five-run rally. After Jackson Hemming stole home on a double-steal to tie the game at six all, senior Bailey McGuire ripped a RBI-double to put the ‘Birds up 7-6.
Belmont senior Connor Wiegel tied the scored at 7-7 with a RBI-single in the home-half of the fourth, and James plated Kolton Westemeier with a base hit in the fifth to put the Braves back into the lead.
James (3-1) worked around a walk in the sixth and a Redbird single in the seventh to preserve the victory for the Braves. He allowed on unearned run on two hits and a walk with five strikeouts to earn the win.
Wiegel finished 3-for-4 with three runs batted in and a run scored for Belmont. Colin Austin went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while Travian Rucker was 3-for-3 with two RBI for the Braves.
McGuire went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two RBI. Preston Banfield kocked in two runs and scored twice for the ‘Birds.
Darlington (3-5 SWAL) split a pair of SWAL games on the diamond last week, dropping a 13-2 decision at Fennimore on Tuesday, May 1, and then returning home to top Cuba City, 7-3, on Friday, May 4.
Carter Lancaster drove in a run and scored another for the ‘Birds against Fennimore.
Darlington fell behind the Cubans 2-0 in the first inning of Friday’s game, but rallied to take the lead after plating a run in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth to go up 6-3. Chase Mosley walked and scored on a two-out error in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2, and Nick Andrae doubled in a run and scored on to wild pitches to put the ‘Birds into the lead.
The hosts tacked on two more runs on a double by Mosley in the fifth, and Andrae singled and scored on an error in the sixth to seal the win.
Andrae finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, two runs scored and a RBI.
Pitcher Barry Schliem (2-2) notched the complete-game win on the mound, yielding three runs on seven hits and two walks with five Ks over seven innings of work, and he helped his own cause by driving in a run and scoring another for the ‘Birds.
Darlington’s SWAL game at Riverdale on Thursday, May 3, was suspended in the top of the fifth inning with the Chieftains leading 4-0. The game will be resumed when the teams meet at Darlington on Friday. May 11. They will pick up game one where they left off, starting at 3:45 p.m.; and then follow with the regularly scheduled game.
The Redbirds are also scheduled to host Mineral Point in a SWAL game on Tuesday, May 15, at 4:30 p.m.
Darlington…... 011 00 – 2 3 0
Fennimore….. 238 0x – 13 15 1
Leading Hitters: D– None. F– Ahren 3x3, James 2x3, Kephart 2x2, Govier 2x2, Gonnell 2x3. HR- Neuroth.
W- Ahnen (4IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 5BB). L- Jackson Hemming (4IP, 15H, 13R, 13ER, 2K, 4BB).
At Fennimore, on Tuesday, May 1
Cuba City…… 200 001 0 – 3 7 3
Darlington….. 001 321 X – 7 7 1
Leading Hitters: CC– Justin Hasken 3x4. 3B- Brandon Brogley. 2B- Hasken. D– Hromadka 2x4, Reuter 2x4, Bowen 4x4, Schneider 2x3. HR- Hromadka (2), Straka. 2B- Bowen (3), Reuter.
W- Zenz (2IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 2K, 1BB). L- Wylie Niles (1.33IP, 8H, 9R, 8ER, 3K, 2BB).
At Darlington, on Friday, May 4
Darlington….. 200 500 0 – 7 5 4
Belmont…….. 402 110 x – 8 11 3
Leading Hitters: D– Bailey McGuire 3x4. 2B- McGuire. B– Colin Austin 2x4, Connor Wiegel 3x4, Travian Rucker 3x3. 2B- Austin.
W- Ethan James (4IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 5K, 1BB). L- Nick Andrae (1.33IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 2BB).