FENNIMORE – Darlington took over the sole possession of first-place in the SWAL baseball standings after rallying for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat the Fennimore Golden Eagles, 10-7, in a SWAL make-up at FHS on Thursday, May 4.
Fennimore (5-2 SWAL), who was dealt its first SWAL loss by Riverdale, 5-2, on Wednesday, scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase Darlington’s 7-4 lead.
The Redbirds (8-5 overall, 7-1) answered right back with three runs of their own in the top of the seventh to regain the lead. Christian Carr plated Will Schwartz for the go-ahead run with a bunt and reached on an error on the play to start the rally. Bailey McGuire later scored on another error, while Brayden McDonald doubled home Carr for a 10-7 advantage.
Darlington pitcher Jesse Sturtz recorded a strikeout to open the bottom of the seventh and the Redbirds turned a game-ending double play to seal the victory.
Sturtz (4-1) worked three innings in relief to earn the win, allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits with two walks and two Ks. Ryan Glendenning started and fanned five batters over four innings.
At the plate, Sturtz went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored, while Glendenning added a double and two runs.
Carr finished 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run, and McGuire scored three times.
Darlington opened Thursday by facing Lancaster in non-conference make-up game at LHS. The Flying Arrows walked off with the win over the ‘Birds after plating the game-winning run on a RBI-single by Mack Mundy in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a 6-5 victory.
McDonald went 3-for-4 with a RBI to lead the Redbirds’ 12-hit attack. McGuire was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Glendenning went 2-for-5 with a double.
Darlington returned to the diamond on Friday, May 5, and eked out another tight SWAL win after edging the Cuba City Cubans, 11-10, at Otto Ruf Field.
The Redbirds held an early 10-3 lead thanks to a seven-run outburst in the home-half of the first inning, but the Cubans fought back with two runs in the fourth and five more in the sixth to tie the game at 10 all.
The ‘Birds regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth when McGuire singled home Sturtz for the go-ahead run.
Preston Banfield (1-0) retired the Cubans in order in the top of the seventh to secure the win. He also helped the cause at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored.
McGuire was 3-for-3 with a double, three RBI and a run, while Sturtz went 3-for-4 and scored three times. Carr was 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run. McDonald, Nick Andrae and Chad Golackson added RBI-hits in the game.
Finally, at Orangeville on Monday, May 8, the Redbirds earned their first non-conference decision of the season with a 12-1 five-inning victory over the host Broncos.
McDonald went 2-for-3 with a double and three runs scored to guide the Redbird attack. Schwartz was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and a RBI, while Hayden Hardyman doubled in two runs and scored a run for the ‘Birds.
Andrae (1-0) and Schwartz combined on a one-hitter, allowing a run and striking out six batters with one walk en route to the win.
Darlington has a SWAL make-up game at Southwestern on Thursday, May 11, at 5 p.m.; and then returns home to face Riverdale on Friday, May 12, and Mineral Point on Tuesday, May 16, in key SWAL games, set for 4:30 p.m.
Darlington… 014 200 3 – 10 9 3
Fennimore… 300 103 0 – 7 12 3
Leading hitters: Jesse Sturtz 2x3, Christian Carr 2x4. 3B- Sturtz. 2B- Hayden Hardyman, Sturtz, Ryan Glendenning, Brayden McDonald.
WP- Sturtz. LP- Atkins.
At Fennimore, on Thursday, May 4
Darlington… 010 002 20 – 5 12 2
Lancaster…. 212 000 01 – 6 4 0
Leading hitters: Brayden McDonald 3x4, Ryan Glendenning 2x5, Bailey McGuire 2x3. 2B- Glendenning.
WP- Reuter. LP- Preston Banfield.
At Lancaster, on Thursday, May 4
Cuba City…. 300 205 0 – 10 11 0
Darlington… 721 001 x – 11 15 3
Leading hitters: Brayden McDonald 2x4, Jesse Sturtz 3x4, Bailey McGuire 3x3, Christian Carr 3x4, Preston Banfield 2x3. 2B- McDonald, McGuire.
WP- Banfield. LP- Kunkel.
At Darlington, on Friday, May 5
Darlington….. 172 02 – 12 7 1
Orangeville… 100 00 – 1 1 8
Leading hitters: Brayden McDonald 2x3, Will Schwartz 2x4. 2B- McDonald, Schwartz, Hayden Hardyman.
WP- Nick Andrae. LP- Edler.
At Orangeville, on Monday, May 8