The rain had been stalking the Mexico varsity baseball team like a debt collector looking to get paid, always showing up at the worst times and ruining the squads chance to complete its final game of the Fulton Tournament against Moberly in the consolation round.
Ultimately that run of bad luck couldn't last forever and last Friday these two squads were able to go head-to-head and the end result was an old-fashioned shoot-out that began with the Bulldogs taking a 5-1 lead in the first inning that the Spartans were able to whittle down to 5-2 in the second. It was the third when the action really got wild as Moberly turned the tides by taking a 10-8 lead when it blew up for eight runs in the stanza that Mexico answered with a triumvirate of scores.
Even though the Bulldogs only had nine hits for the contest and they did fall behind by yet another run in the fourth, in this ever-changing state of affairs it was their turn to sit back on top so that's exactly what they tried to do. The problem was, after a scoreless fourth and the Spartans scoring in the fifth, Moberly had once again tacked a single run on the board in the top of the inning, so when Mexico sent four runners across the plate in the bottom of the sixth, that sent the game into the seventh tied at 12-12.
Now, with just three outs each left to work with, the Spartans were up first, and their efforts came and went without any change to the scoreboard. But, when the Bulldogs got to the plate it was a whole other story. Whatever it was they needed to find, they found it, and one run later the squad was celebrating their victory 13-12.
"We came out flat against Fulton defensively. We were able to jump out on them in the first, but they put together a couple strong middle innings to get a good lead," said coach Brandon Schafer. "I was proud of the way the guys fought back and didn't roll over, this was a big win for us, and it showed that we can be resilient. Coach (Dion) Nunnelly made a great call having Jesse Fennewald bunt in the bottom of the seventh, and Cole Whalen came through late, both on the mound, and on-base."
For the game Whalen went 2-for-3 with two runs and two walks at the plate while allowing no runs on two hits with two strikeouts in one inning pitched. Gage Worley was also on the mound for three and two thirds innings and gave up two runs, zero earned, on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Throwing the other two and a third innings was Baylee Dukes, who knows all two well about the four errors Mexico made as he gave up 10 runs, three earned, on 10 hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Jesse Fenewald was no stranger to the base paths that day, either, going 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBI and a walk, a performance Worley complimented by sliding in at 1-for-3 with a run, one walk and one RBI. Ty Prince went 1-for-3 with a run, a walk and a RBI, as well.
The other side of this scenario entailed three errors and 16 hits, two of which came from Austin Laughlin along with two runs and one RBI in five at-bats. Catcher Sam Martin added a run.
Mexico next played at Moberly in North Central Missouri Conference competition yesterday.