Over the weekend, the McCracken County Mustangs hosted the visiting Kennett, MO Indians and the O’Fallon, IL Panthers at Edward Jones Field. Although the Mustangs dropped the first game against the Indians, McCracken County pulled off a 5-4 walk-off victory in 11 innings to hand O’Fallon its first loss in the 2023 season.
On Monday night, the Mustangs traveled to Carlisle County to face a First Region foe and returned home with a 7-2 victory, moving to a 4-1 record ahead of a big week filled with tests as the early season continues.
KENNETT INDIANS 2, MCCRACKEN COUNTY 0
The first of three games at Edward Jones Field on Saturday kicked off with the Mustangs hosting the visiting Kennett Indians. Although the Mustang offense did not come alive until a single by Griffin Cantrell in the bottom of the third inning, McCracken County’s arms worked with domination to keep the Indians at bay, only allowing the two runs.
Ross Aldridge started on the bump for McCracken County and worked over four innings, allowing three hits, two runs (earned), walking three, and striking out two. Lefty Zach Sims appeared in relief of Aldridge, striking out six and walking one while silencing the Kennett bats for over two innings of work.
Despite the shutout and first loss of the season for McCracken County, the team only struck out four times, each hit finding an Indian defender except for Cantrell and Nate Lang’s singles in the bottom of the third.
KENNETT 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 --2-3-2
MCHS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0-2-0
WP: P. Branum; LP: R. Aldridge
TB: KEN — B. Nigut 2, T. Pierce 1, J. Poole 1; G. Cantrell 1, N. Lang 1
HBP: M. Gardner; MCHS — S. Moffatt
MCCRACKEN COUNTY 5, O’FALLON PANTHERS 4
After the morning loss to Kennett, the Mustangs returned to the field for the fourth and final game on Saturday to face the undefeated O’Fallon Panthers. Before the 11-inning romp between the two programs, O’Fallon had yet to surrender a run. However, the McCracken County Mustangs were able to hand them a loss with Zach Sims and Miller Green at the helm.
The Panthers kicked off the top of the first, scoring on a wild pitch by Caleb Ehling, who was removed from the game due to an injury. Before being taken out, Ehling worked two innings before being taken out, allowing one hit, one run, three walks, and three strikeouts.
Seth Harris, Miller Green, and Tyler Chapman appeared in relief for the Mustangs. Harris worked two innings, allowing two hits, three runs (earned), two walks, and two strikeouts, while Chapman earned the victory by throwing one inning and allowing one hit.
However, it was Green that left a mark during the extra-inning showdown. The junior threw six innings for the Mustangs, striking out 13 and allowing one hit while facing 20 batters.
The Mustangs trailed by four runs heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, with Griffin Cantrell starting with a seven-pitch walk. Cantrell advanced to second base on a balk by the Panthers before moving to third base on a single by Weston Miller. Then, with a passed ball, Cantrell scored the first run for McCracken, cutting down O’Fallon’s lead to three with one out.
Nate Lang drew a walk before Green flew out to center field, leaving Miller in scoring position and Lang at first base with two outs. Then, down to the final out of the game, Zach Sims stepped up to the plate and tripled with a 3-1 count. Miller and Lang scored to make it 3-4. With Sims at third base, the Panthers attempted a hidden ball trick, which signaled the umpire to call balk, allowing Sims to score the tying run.
It was in the 11th inning that the Mustangs defeated the Panthers. With two outs, Miller and Lang were hit by pitches before Green drew a walk to load the bases. Sims, who had tied the game over an hour before, stepped up to the dish and drew a five-pitch walk, allowing Miller to score the winning run.
OFALLON 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 4-5-1
MCCRACKEN 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1 --5-5-3
WP: T. Chapman; LP: M. Barker
TB: OFAL — X. Deatherage 2, H. McGill 2, C. Blue 1, C. Patton 1; MCHS — Z. Sims 3, J. Farley 1, N. Lang 1, E. James 1, W. Miller 1
HBP: OFAL — H. McGill; MCHS — W. Miller 2, N. Lang, G. Cantrell
SB: OFAL — C. Patton 3, H. McGill 2, W. Millard; MCHS — N. Lang 2, M. Green, W. Miller, N. Nyberg
MCCRACKEN COUNTY 7, CARLISLE COUNTY 2
After using a surplus of arms over the weekend, the Mustangs traveled to Carlisle County to face the Comets on Monday night. Collecting six hits, the Mustangs defeated the Comets, scoring five runs in the top of the third inning. Senior Daniel Higdon hit his first career home run in the top of the sixth inning to put the Mustangs ahead by five.
McCracken County’s Alex Calhoun snagged the Mustangs’ victory, working five innings while allowing two runs on three hits and striking out seven Comets. Senior Davis Beale threw two innings in relief, allowing one hit, walking one, and striking out one in his first appearance back from Tommy John surgery.
The score remained a zero until the top of the third inning when Higdon led off the Mustang bats by reaching first on a Carlisle County error. The senior advanced to second base as Griffin Cantrell grounded out. With two outs, Nate Lang singled to left field, allowing Higdon to score.
The next batter, Miller Green, singled, allowing the speedster Lang to move to third base and into scoring position. Zach Sims drew a walk to load the bases before Lang crossed home plate on a Scout Moffatt HBP to make it 2-0. It was quickly 4-0 as Jude Farley doubled to right field, allowing Green and Sims to score, advancing Moffatt to third base.
Another walk allowed McCracken County to load the bases, with Eli James taking first. Moffatt moved the score to 5-0, scoring on a wild pitch before Carlisle County collected its third out on a Higdon strikeout.
The bottom of the third allowed Carlisle County to tack on two runs, starting with a home run by Jarren Bruer to start the inning. Koltyn Perez singled and advanced to second base on an error by McCracken County. Perez later scored on a Dylan Jewell ground out to make it 2-5.
The Mustangs snagged another run during the top of the fifth inning as Green scored when Moffatt hit a ground ball and reached on an error to make it 6-2. However, despite a runner in scoring position, the Mustangs could not advance the runner before the Comets ended the top half of the inning.
Higdon’s home run came in the top of the sixth inning, but McCracken County’s run ended when Lang grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Comets did not go down without a fight in the bottom of the seventh inning, with Ashton Spurr reaching on an error by McCracken County. However, Spurr and Bruer would be the first two outs of the inning as Bruer grounded into a double play with Griffin Cantrell, Moffatt, and James completing it. Perez’s ground out ended the game as the third out in the seventh.
The Mustangs will head to Hopkinsville on Tuesday night, while the Comets will host the visiting Lyon County Lyons.
MCHS 0 0 5 0 1 1 0 — 7-6-2
CCHS 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 — 2-4-3
WP: A. Calhoun; LP: J. Bruer
HR: MCHS — D. Higdon; CCHS — J. Bruer
TB: MCHS — D. Higdon 4, M. Green 3, J. Farley 2, N. Lang 1; CCHS — J. Bruer 4, C. Mitchell 1, K. Perez 1, B. Williams 1
SB: MCHS — M. Green 3, S. Moffatt; CCHS — K. Perez 2