The Festus Tigers Junior Varsity Baseball Team opened their season with a loss to the Parkway South Patriots on Saturday. The Tigers made a seventh inning comeback, but came up just short, falling 9-7.
This was the first action either side had seen since the 2018-19 season due to COVID-19 canceling all baseball last year, and both teams came out eager to get started.
After a quiet first inning, Parkway got to work and ran out in front, scoring four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Fast forward to the fifth inning where the Tigers left multiple men on base, but thankfully the Patriots weren’t able to get anything going either.
Things then turned in a different direction, as Festus put themselves on the board with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Trenton Young, scoring Will Reese. One batter later, Cole Skaggs ripped a single to left field, which brought Hayden Bates across home plate for another run. Festus cut the Patriots lead in half, and trailed just 4-2.
Parkway South got back to work in the bottom of the sixth, rallying to score five more runs and extend their lead to 9 to 2.
With their backs against the wall, the Festus JV squad came alive. With two outs in the inning, Tyler Reece smacked a two-RBI single to center field that scored Gavin Williams and Henry Roux. One batter later, Young singled on a line drive to center field that scored two more runs and Festus only trailed by three.
Carter White got in on the action and hit an RBI-single that scored Young. Sadly, Williams struck out to end the game and the Tigers fell 9-7.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Tigers though. “Our kids competed well today,” Head Coach Matt Gurnow said. “We made a few mistakes defensively that gave Parkway South too many free bases.”
Roux led the team with two hits on the day, going 2 for 3 with a double and scored a run. Young led the team with three RBIs and was followed closely by Reece with two of his own. Reece and Young each scored a run as well. Skaggs and White had the only other RBIs for the Tigers.
“Offensively, we faced a starting pitcher with good velocity and a solid breaking ball, but we did not shy away from the challenge. ” Gurnow said. “We stayed aggressive in the zone and were able to put pressure and score a few runs later in the ballgame.”
Eli Williams drew the start on the mound for the Tigers. He allowed four hits and four earned runs over two innings. Skaggs was the first arm summoned for relief. He went three innings, struck out three batters, allowed five hits and no runs. White and Austin Medley also saw time on the mound. Medley struggled and allowed five earned runs over two-thirds of an inning.
This was not the result the Tigers wanted, but nonetheless, they are glad to be back on the field. They fell behind early and just didn’t have enough gas in the tank to recover. They look to bounce back and grab their first win of the season on Tuesday, March 23rd when they play the Fox Warriors.