Home runs propel Bulldogs to rally victory
Baldwin High School seniors Nick Jackson and Cory Lauridsen helped the BHS baseball team rally to its first win by each hitting a home run Monday night.
After falling behind 5-2 in the third inning, the Bulldogs' offense sparked a comeback in their home opener. Baldwin (1-1) defeated Osawatomie 10-7.
"It was a great win," coach Brock Hartshorn said. "We needed that. We came from behind to win and hit a couple home runs. It's good for the kids to get a win. I am happy for them."
The two Bulldog home runs came at crucial times. Jackson hit a two-run shot to close Osawatomie's lead while Lauridsen's two-run long ball gave BHS a four-run cushion.
"I'd like to think my home run sparked the come back," Jackson said. "Home runs are good and mine just barely got out. Cory's got out pretty good. Anytime you can get a home run, it's more than just the runs, it's also an emotional lift to the team."
Baldwin surrendered five runs in the first three innings to Osawatomie, but scored two of its own to only trail by three.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, junior Daniel Glover advanced to first base after being hit by a pitch. Jackson then stepped up and cranked a pitch over the center field wall for a two-run home run.
That hit closed the Trojans' lead to 5-4 and sparked the Bulldogs' rally. Baldwin took the lead in the fifth inning off of a couple of hits.
With senior Nick Papps, junior Michael Barnes and sophomore James Simmons on base, senior Scott Meisenheimer came to the plate. He then hit a single that scored Papps and tied the game at 5-5.
"He really got us started," Hartshorn said of Jackson. "I really want to say that Scott Meisenheimer was probably our player of the game with two singles and three RBIs. Nick's home run did get us up beat and then we were able to play ahead after that."
The next Bulldog batter was sophomore Andy Thurlow. He drilled a line drive double that scored Barnes and Simmons, who was running for junior Jacob Enick.
Thurlow's double gave Baldwin a 7-5 lead after five innings. The BHS offense continued to click in the sixth inning.
Junior Zach Durr reached base with a single to start the inning. Lauridsen then hit his two-run homer over the left field fence to give Baldwin a 9-5 lead.
"I felt it hit off the bat," Lauridsen said. "I knew it was gone in our short field."
Baldwin added one more run later in the inning when junior Tyler Green scored from third base on a balk from the Osawatomie pitcher.
Durr took the mound in the seventh inning to replace Jackson with the bases loaded. The Trojans scored two runs on a balk and fielder's choice after a dropped catch on a strikeout. Baldwin fielded the final ground ball and made the final out of the game at second base.
"We were trying to save his arm for next week and not have him pitch," Hartshorn said of Durr. "But in that situation, he is our go-to-guy and he did a great job of getting three outs."
The Bulldogs were excited to win 10-7 in their first game of the season at home.
"Anytime you can start off winning at home, it's a good deal," Jackson said. "We still have a lot of stuff we need to work on, but we got the important stat and that is the win."
Hartshorn was happy for his players, especially after the Bulldogs dropped their opening game at Central Heights last week. He was proud of how his team battled back to win.
"We made a couple errors early," Hartshorn said. "We didn't let it get out of hand. We kept it close. In a ballpark like ours, if you are keeping someone close, you are always in the ball game. They made some errors back to us and we hit the home runs."
Last Thursday, Baldwin opened its season with a single game at Central Heights. BHS lost 13-1 after only five innings of play.
The Bulldogs gave up eight runs in the first inning, six of which came with two outs.
"I think that we were really tight," Hartshorn said. "We are very inexperienced in the field. It got to us early. We didn't recover from it. We made a few tiny mistakes early and then they just jumped all over the top of us. That is a good team and they were 13-9 last year and they return nine players."
Glover scored the only BHS run. Hartshorn said the Vikings are a good team and they played a great game.
"They are a good hitting team," Hartshorn said. "They didn't make an error and they hit the ball well. That's how you are going to win ball games in high school baseball."
Baldwin will play back-to-back doubleheaders next week. BHS will travel to De Soto on Tuesday then host Paola next Thursday.
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