Pitching lifts Baldwin boys to 3-game winning streak
Baldwin High pitchers dominated Tuesday as the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader against Frontier League-foe Louisburg.
Senior Colton Stark struck out 12 Wildcat batsmen, and gave up just two hits while earning the complete game win in the Bulldogs’ 7-0 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.
Senior Brandon Mock was nearly as impressive in the first game, striking out nine and giving up three hits in pitching all seven innings in Baldwin’s 10-0 opening game win.
Important to the two Bulldog pitchers’ success was their control, coach Brian Turk said. Mock didn’t walk a batter in his seven innings while Stark gave up two free passes.
"They were able to throw a lot of strikes and keep pitch counts manageable with out going to the bullpen," he said. "Very proud of both of them and we played good defense behind them. We got off to sluggish starts offensively in both games but were able to string some things together towards the end of both games to create some separation."
Senior centerfielder Chad Berg was the offensive spark in the second game, going 3-for-5, stealing three bases and scoring two runs.
Benefitting from Berg’s base running was Ben Brungardt in the No. 2 spot, who collected two RBIs while going 1-for-3.
The Bulldogs broke open the scoring with a run in the first inning, added two more in the fourth and broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning.
Senior Hunter Young provided the big blow in the Bulldogs’ five-run fifth inning in the opener when his double plated two RBIs.
The sweep got the Bulldogs, 8-4 overall, back to .500 in the Frontier League after an 1-4 start. Baldwin started to turn things around Thursday in the nightcap of its home doubleheader against De Soto.
The Bulldogs lead all the way in the 8-2 victory, scoring one run in the first and adding three in the second.
Baldwin’s big four-run sixth inning came after De Soto plated its only two runs of the game in the fifth inning. Ben Brungardt delivered an RBI double in the inning and had two in the game.
Starter Collin Linder picked up the victory, giving up two runs in five innings. Stark pitched two scoreless innings in relief, giving a hint of things to come with five strikeouts.
De Soto broke open a close first game with 11 runs in the last three innings, earning a 14-2 victory. Ben Growcock took the loss for the Bulldogs.
"We've collected a couple wins over programs we hadn't beat in a long time and it's a credit to the work the players have put in over the last couple years," Turk said. "We have a very dedicated group of guys and they're lead by a hard working group of senios who have turned things around. We still have a long ways to go with some very challenging games ahead and a very difficult regionals with four ranked teams."
Next up for the Bulldogs is a home doubleheader Thursday against Paola. Baldwin with then take a break from the Frontier League to play in the Community American Tournament May 1, 2 and 3. That will give the Bulldogs the opportunity to play in the T-Bone Community America Ballpark.