Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The Festus Tigers Varsity Baseball team blew out the Ste. Genevieve Dragons 11-4 on Monday. The Tigers are 4-1 against the Dragons in their last five matches dating back to 2016.
The Tigers came into this game off of two brutal losses to the Windsor Owls. They had only one hit as a team between those two losses and were in desperate need of some offensive success.
The Dragons jumped ahead in the first inning on an RBI single. Festus then evened things up in the top of the second when Wyatt Huskey drew a walk that brought Collin Reando in to score.
Festus briefly grabbed the lead in the top of the third inning. Hayden Bates and Jackson Gross each drew walks to lead off the inning. Laine Axtetter drew a walk to load the bases before Tyler Bizzle knocked in a run on a single. Gross scored on the next at-bat and the Tigers took a 3-1 lead.
Ste. Gen struck back immediately in their half of the third inning with three runs and pulled ahead 4-3. Both teams’ offenses fell quiet until the sixth inning.
Festus yanked the momentum back into their favor. Cole Wagner hit an RBI single that brought both Cameron Ford and Huskey around to score. That hit gave Festus a 5-4 lead, but the Tigers weren’t stopping there. Reando hit a single that brought Wagner in to score. The Dragons immediately hit the next two batters and the second resulted in another run coming home for Festus. Hulsey drew a walk that scored a run just before Brayden Montgomery hit a single that brought both Trent Ellis and Axtetter in to score. Festus left the sixth inning ahead 10-4.
Festus added one final run in the top of the seventh before sealing the 11-4 victory. The win bumped their record up to 7-8.
“It felt good to find some barrels again,” Wagner said. “We just need to keep attacking pitchers early instead of falling behind in the counts so much.”
Bizzle led the team with two hits. He was 2-3 and had two RBI. Hulsey, Montgomery and Wagner all had two RBI as well. Bates led the team with three runs scored and Reando was just behind with two of his own.
After the Windsor games, the team was pleased with their offensive bounce-back on Monday.
“I think it gave a lot of the guys more confidence after going two games with one hit,” Reando said. “Hopefully we can build off that and continue swinging the bats well the next three days.”
Kaleb Kennedy started the game on the mound and threw five innings for the Tigers. He threw 76 pitches, allowed four runs on six hits and struck out one batter. Ethan Carroll pitched two innings in relief. He allowed one hit and struck out one batter.
Outside of the two games last week against Windsor, the Tigers have been scoring runs well as of late. Festus hopes to prove they can continue to produce on Wednesday, April 21st against the Seckman Jaguars.