Before he leaves for Lindenwood University in the fall, which is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's second division, Wellsville-Middletown senior Ben Burton was looking to reach a couple of prep career milestones.
One of those marks was 200 strikeouts and last Thursday at home in Eastern Missouri Conference action against Bowling Green Ben Burton finally reached that goal in just 133.3 innings pitched. Making this achievement even greater was that in that same time the Tigers senior allowed just 38 walks. But wait, there's more because, while the Indians did try and launch a comeback that featured a run in the sixth and two in the seventh, Wellsville-Middletown was till able to hold on for the 6-5 win.
"(This) was an exciting game against Bowling Green," said coach Earl Burton. "(Layton) Maskey and (Clayton) Ebers both had timely two-out hits early in the game that propelled the Tigers offense. This team is playing solid baseball and at the right time of the season."
The fact that Wellsville-Middletown got outhit eight to seven doesn't mean much considering the two-hit effort given by Ethan Burton, which came with a run and one RBI in three at-bats. Alex Stewart proved to be a key ingredient to this winning recipe, as well, at 1-for-2 with a run, but the real party-starter was Kollin McCoy because at 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run, there really was no sunshine when he's gone.
The one issue both squads had was that they made four errors each. The Tigers did have the advantage of jumping out to leads of 1-0 and 2-0 in the first and second innings prior to making it a 6-2 game in the fourth, which is when Bowling Green started to grab the momentum and actually almost turned the corner to the point this contest went to extra innings.
Wellsville-Middletown, 8-3 overall, has a league game today at Silex starting at 3:30 p.m.