Tigers Open Season With 1-1 Split

The Festus Tigers Varsity Baseball squad goes 1-1 to open the season with a comeback that fell just short, before landing on the winning end of a pitchers duel.

The Festus Tigers Varsity Baseball squad kicked off the season with a pair of games on Saturday. Despite a valiant comeback, they fell to the Fox Warriors in the first game 12-10, but hung on in the second to take the cake in a 2-1 pitchers duel with Notre Dame.

The season opener started off bumpy with a pair of errors that led to two Warrior runs, but the Tigers returned the favor in the bottom half of the first, picking up three runs thanks to errant plays on Fox’s end. That 3-2 lead wouldn’t last long though as the Warriors put up one in the second, five in the third and four in the fifth to go up 12-4.

Festus came roaring back though with three in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh, highlighted by RBI knocks from Cole Skaggs, Wyatt Huskey, Brayden Montgomery, Tyler Bizzle and Ian Brown. The comeback would fall just short though as the Tigers couldn’t scrounge up those final two runs. They dropped the opener 12-10, but had some real positives to take away from the loss.

Offensively, Bizzle led the way, getting on base in all four at-bats (two singles, two BB) and drove in a pair of runs. Hayden Bates was 2-4, stole a base and scored three runs, while Huskey reached four times on two hits and a pair of walks and added an RBI, a steal and a pair of runs scored. On the bump, Brown got the start and didn’t allow an earned run in his two innings of work, but errors led to three Warrior runs during his stretch. He did manage to fan six hitters though against just one walk, so it was a brief, yet impressive performance. Skaggs was the other notable hurler, going three scoreless while allowing just two hits and zero walks to close out the game.

Head Coach Jeff Montgomery commented on the game saying, “Skaggs did well in relief in the early game on the mound. That game was crazy. We didn’t get our legs under us until late in the game and we had some jitters. We made five errors and that really hurt.” Still, a solid effort from these young Tigers.

In the second contest of the Saturday doubleheader, the results could not have been more different. In this one the Tigers came out on the shiny side of a pitcher’s duel and fended off a very tough Cape Notre Dame team 2-1. They scraped together a pair of runs on a Bizzle single and a Brown sac fly to take a quick 2-0 lead, and then relied on their arms to keep Notre Dame at bay.

Nate Moore got the start and went four strong, blanking Cape on just two hits while fanning five without allowing a walk. Mason Schirmer then stepped in for the final three frames and held Notre Dame to one run on two hits and two walks, and struck out an impressive nine batters. Offensively, Festus managed just three hits, the aforementioned single by Bizzle and a pair of base hits by Jackson Gross, who was 2-for-2 in the game and swiped a bag.

The win evened the Tigers’ record at 1-1 on the young season and Coach Montgomery spoke to the effort, saying, “We got some gutty performances by Moore and Schirmer to hold down a good Cape Notre Dame team. That was a good win. We played defense and their arm on the bump was pretty nasty, so we didn’t get many chances to score, but grinded out two in the first. We have some tough games coming up, but I am excited for this group.”

The Tigers will look to build on that win and gain some momentum now that they have shaken off the rust and the butterflies in the early going. They host Potosi on Thursday for their next match before a flurry of games over the weekend. Tigers Open Season With 1-1 Split

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