By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The Mt. Pleasant and Washington baseball teams renewed their rivalry on Thursday night in Mt. Pleasant, and played each other even throughout the entire night.
The two squads split their first match up of the year with Mt. Pleasant scoring a 5-4 comeback victory in game one and Washington holding on 3-1 in game two.
The Demons struck first in the opener when Wilx Witthoft knocked in Brant Stout to give Washington a 1-0 lead. Mt. Pleasant grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth on RBIs from Colby Potts and Bryce Anderson, but the Demons tied it back up at 2-2 in the top of the fifth with a run by Cade Hennigan.
Mt. Pleasant loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth inning but stranded all three runners on base, opening the door for the Demons. Washington capitalized by scoring one in the sixth and one RBI single from Kiowa Keith.
Anderson led the sixth inning off with a double. Trace White bunt-singled to put two on and Noah Walls walked to load the bases with nobody out once again.
Two batters later, Rylan Seberg delivered a two-run single into the outfield to steal the lead back for Mt. Pleasant. Caleb Potts brought one more in on a sacrifice fly and Mt. Pleasant led 5-3.
The Demons had two on and one out in the top of the seventh, but Mt. Pleasant?s Chase Lamm caught a fly ball and gunned the ball in to the infield to get a tag out for the double play. Hennigan scored before the final out was recorded, but the Panthers still walked away with a 5-4 victory.
Colby picked up the win in game one for Mt. Pleasant, throwing six innings. Jacob Hall took the loss for Washington.
Washington starter Chase McDole kept the Panthers off-balance throughout game two. He and Mt. Pleasant?s Zach Beason locked into a pitchers dual in the night-cap.
The Demons scored the first two runs of the game, plating one in the second on an RBI single by Keith and one in the fourth when Brady Knutson crossed after a one-out single.
Seberg led off the sixth with a triple and scored on an error to cut the lead to 2-1, but Washington added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a two-out RBI double by Hennigan.
Knutson came in to shut the door for Washington in the seventh and the Demons earned the split, snapping Mt. Pleasant?s nine-game winning streak in the process.
?I thought pitching wise, our pitchers did a fantastic job,? Mt. Pleasant head coach Brent Broeker said after the games. ?Defense wise, I thought our kids played good baseball. Where we really struggled was being aggressive at the plate. We struck out looking seven times in game two, and we haven?t done that all year. Our kids just weren?t ready to swing it tonight.?
Mt. Pleasant is still sitting well at 5-1 in the SEC after the split. Washington is in the hunt as well with a 6-2 conference record.