The Festus Tigers won their final three games of the regular season last week and finish with an impressive 21-8 record, earning them the second seed in the District Tournament, just behind rival Hillsboro.
The Tigers took down the Cape Notre Dame Bulldogs 5-1 on Monday, blasted the Affton Cougars 15-0 on Wednesday and edged out the Marquette Mustangs 5-3 on Friday. Festus seems to be hitting their stride at just the right time with Districts starting up on Wednesday against the Farmington Knights.
The Tigers hosted the Bulldogs in the week’s opener and jumped out to an early lead with a Mason Schirmer sac fly in the first. They would then add two more in the second on a Wyatt Huskey RBI triple, and he came around to score courtesy of a Brady Nolen base knock. 3-0 good guys.
Notre Dame got one back in the third, but the Tigers added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up 5-1. The frame was highlighted by a booming double to center from Schirmer, and the run production was more than enough for Jackson Gross, who spun a gem. He went six innings, didn’t allow an earned run and struck out six against four hits and two walks.
Two days later Festus travelled to Affton, and this was a fun one for the offense. They scored 15 runs in five innings before the game was called due to the mercy rule. The Tigers put up three in the first, five in the second, four in the third, one in the fourth and two in the fifth, scoring in every inning.
Schimer had another big day, leading the offense with a 2-for-2 performance that featured four RBI. He was also on the mound and earned the win after tossing four innings of no-hit ball with six strikeouts against just two walks.
Tyler Bizzle had a big day with four RBI as well, and Hayden Bates went 2-for-2 with three runs scored, two RBI and two walks. Nolen walked in all four of his plate appearances, scored four runs and stole a base. Pretty good day for someone who didn’t officially have an at bat.
The regular season finale was back at home for the Tigers as they hosted the Marquette Mustangs. This was a close one, but the Tigers were able to go up big early to provide a cushion. Bates and Bizzle had back-to-back RBI singles in the first before Schirmer drove in a run with a sac fly to make it 3-0. Brayden Montgomery then hit a sharp grounder to third and the defender couldn’t handle it, bringing home the fourth and final run of the inning via error.
Then in the second inning Schirmer drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and that made it 5-0 Festus. That was the extent of the scoring for the Tigers, but it was all the pitching staff would need. The Mustangs managed to scrape out single runs in the third, fourth and seventh innings, but Festus hung on for the 5-3 victory.
Ian Brown got the start and the victory, tossing 2.1 innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits and three walks. His run was unearned. Nate Moore came on in middle relief and went 2.2, giving up one run and posting a 3/0 K/BB ratio. Finally Montgomery came on for the two-inning save and got the last six outs to end any hope of a comeback. He allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out two.
Three straight wins is a nice way to prep for the District Tournament and go into the win-or-go-home games with some momentum. The Tigers will go up against a familiar foe on Wednesday, as they will take on the seventh-seeded Farmington Knights. They last faced them in Wood Bat Classic and won 3-2.