By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 4/19/22- The top-ranked team in the Class 2 state baseball rankings, the Putnam County Midgets (9-0), came calling on the Scotland County Tigers (3-8, 1-2) last Tuesday evening at Tiger Field for a non-conference matchup. It was a great pitching duel and the Tigers were competitive, but once again defensive mistakes cost the Tigers any shot at victory.
Tiger senior Xavier Lucas got the start for Scotland County on the mound. In the top of the first inning, Putnam County had two outs and Lance Fowler standing on second when Zach Heidenwith smacked an RBI single to left field. The Midgets led 1-0 midway through the first.
Both pitchers held the other team scoreless from that point forward up until the top of the third inning. Lucas appeared to be struggling with his location, and after he walked the first two hitters in the frame, coach Rod Sears brought freshman Vince Dale on in relief. Dale inherited runners at second and third with no outs. He issued a walk to Heidenwith before Brayden McReynolds connected for an RBI sac fly to center, scoring Fowler. Three batters later, Brayden Walter hit a two-out bases loaded double to left, scoring Gage Pearson and Owen Ream. Dale then picked off Vinny Jones at third to escape the inning, but not before the Midgets built a 4-0 lead middle of the third.
In the top of the fourth, Jaydon Pribyl drew a walk, then stole second. With Fowler at the plate, Pribyl stole third. The resulting error on the throwdown to third base allowed him to score, making it 5-0 middle of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Tigers finally got on the scoreboard. With Pribyl on in relief for Fowler, the Tigers had runners at first and second when Corbyn Spurgeon spanked a one-out RBI single to center scoring Riley Small. In the next at-bat, Ian Wilson drilled a liner to left that scored Lucas Durflinger. The Tigers had trimmed the Midget lead to 5-2 after five innings of play.
Both teams again went scoreless in the sixth inning. But the Midgets drew blood again in the top of the seventh. With runners at second and third with no outs, Carter Quint hit into a fielder’s choice to score Heidenwith. The next batter was Jones and he also hit into a fielder’s choice to score McReynolds. Putnam County had padded their lead 7-2 middle of the seventh. The Tigers got one more opportunity offensively but came up empty, stranding Durflinger on second base. The Midgets took the victory and remained undefeated with a 7-2 final score.
Fowler got the start and the win for Putnam County. He worked 5 1/3 innings facing 20 batters. He struck out nine and walked one while allowing no runs on only one hit. Pribyl worked one inning of middle relief, and Pearson closed out the final 2/3 innings of the game.
Lucas started for the Tigers and took the loss, working two innings and facing 13 batters. He walked four and struck out three, while allowing four runs on three hits. Dale worked the final five innings, facing 23 batters, walking four and striking out six. He allowed three runs on three hits.
Spurgeon and Wilson both went one of four with an RBI for the Tigers. As a team, Scotland County only went 3 of 25 at the plate.
Walter was one for four with two RBIs for the Midgets. Heidenwith was two of three with an RBI, McReynolds was one of two with an RBI, and Jones was one of three with an RBI. The Midgets went 6 for 26 at the plate as a team.