The Tiger offense has officially woken up. Festus opened up this week with a massive 16-1 win over crosstown rivals Jefferson R7, and then followed it up with a double-header sweep of the Perryville Pirates on Thursday. They won the first game 16-4 and closed out the week with a 7-3 win in the finale.
The Tigers have now scored 49 runs in their last four wins and seem to have found their identity this season, after shaking off a little rust.
The game on Monday against the Blue Jays was a proverbial bloodbath. The Tigers were actually down 1-0 after the first half inning of play, but bounced right back to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first. Then they decided that they weren’t going to mess around anymore and just casually put up 11 runs in the second.
No that’s not a typo. Eleven. The inning featured three singles, three doubles, five walks, two HBP and a two-run homer from Brayden Montgomery. After what had to seem like an eternity to the Blue Jays, the Tigers had a 13-1 lead at the end of the inning.
They tacked on three more in the fourth to make it 16-1 and then triggered the mercy rule after a scoreless fifth inning. The win moved them back over .500 for the first time since opening day.
Hayden Bates went 2-for-4 with four RBI to lead the offense, and Montgomery and Jackson Gross each had big games as well, both driving in three. Tyler Bizzle had a strong day at the plate also with a 3-for-4 effort that included a pair of doubles and two runs batted in.
Nate Moore was on the bump and got the win with four shutout innings of three-hit ball. The only run he allowed was unearned and he fanned four without walking a batter.
Next on the docket was a Thursday double-header with the Perryville Pirates, and the Tigers wasted no time in this one either. They put up three in the first before unloading once again in the second inning with eight more runs.
They added three more in the third to go up 14-0, but Perryville kept the game alive with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Then in the fifth, Bates crushed a ball to left field that cleared the wall and put the Tigers up 16-4. That would be plenty, and the mercy rule kicked in again after the Pirates failed to score in the bottom of the inning.
Bates was 3-for-4 with three RBI and homer, Mason Schirmer went 3-for-3 with four RBI and Ian Brown went 2-for-4 with four RBI to do most of the damage for Festus. Schirmer was also on the mound and got the win after throwing a pair of scoreless innings with four Ks.
These two teams would get right back to it though, and once again the Tigers stuck first. They used three errors in the second inning to plate a pair of runs and quickly went up 2-0. Perryville showed some resolve though and managed three of their own in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead. But the Tigers came right back with two more runs on RBI-singles from Brady Nolen and Bates for a 4-3 lead.
The cherry on top came in the sixth inning with three more insurance runs thanks to a two-RBI double from Bizzle and an RBI-groundout from Montgomery. Festus hung on to win 7-3.
Bates was huge again with a 3-for-4 effort and was the only Tiger with multiple hits while driving in two. Bizzle had a pair of RBI as well with his sixth-inning double. Montgomery was on the mound and allowed just one earned run (three total) over six innings to earn the win. He allowed four hits and two walks while striking out six. Trenton Young came on in the seventh to pick up the save with a scoreless inning and two punch outs.
The Tigers have now won three straight and improved their record to 7-4 on the season. They’ll get the weekend off before heading to Imperial, MO on Monday to take on the Windsor Owls.