BY EASTON LEONARD –
Monday night, March 6th, at Union Bank Field on the campus of Mena High School, the Mena Bearcat baseball team took on the Genoa Central Dragons in a doubleheader.
The Bearcats gave Ian Martin the nod to start the game off on the hill in the first game. Martin gave up only one hit in the first inning, but after a few bobbles and dropped balls, Genoa Central was able to put two runs on the scoreboard.
Landon Stidman drew a six-pitch walk to start the game off for the Bearcats, before Colton Sawyer grounded out to first and Brycen Aynes and Jon Beckman struck out. After one complete inning, the score was 2-0 in favor of the Dragons.
Genoa Central loaded the bases in the second inning, as Ian Martin gave up two singles and walked a batter with no outs. Garrett Cook then singled to left field, scoring one more run for the Dragons. Martin retired his first batter of the inning, getting Tyler Rushing to line out to left field, but every runner tagged up, scoring another run for Genoa Central. Genoa’s pitcher then tripled to center field, clearing the bases and driving in two more runs for the Dragons. Martin and the Bearcats were able to get out the inning three batters later with a pop out and ground out.
Mena’s pitcher, Ian Martin, led off the second inning for the Bearcats with a walk. Chandler Fretz then grounded out up the middle, followed by strike outs from Ty Keene and Luke Golding, ending the inning. The score was 7-0 after two innings.
Martin walked Colby Cobb to start the third inning, then struck out Cason Brigham. Following, Jacob Jackson hit a ground ball to third, but the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, keeping the runners safe at the corners. Garrett Cook then knocked in another run for Genoa with a single into centerfield, putting runners at first and second. Mena then opted to bring in Landon Stidman to pitch. Stidman’s first batter faced drove in two runs with a line drive single into centerfield. The Bearcats were able to escape the inning a few batters later, but not before the Dragons scored seven runs. The score was in favor of Genoa Central, 14-0.
The Bearcats went down one, two, three in the bottom of the third, as Ty Cole struck out, Landon Stidman popped out, and Colton Sawyer grounded out. The score remained 14-0 after three complete innings of baseball.
Kyndon Schuller came in to pitch the fourth inning for the Bearcats. Schuller retired his first two batters faced via fly outs. Genoa was able to reach on two singles with two outs, but Schuller got yet another Dragon to fly out. Keeping Genoa Central’s lead at fourteen.
Genoa Central retired the Bearcars three-up three-down again in the fourth inning, as McConnell and Beckman struck out and Martin grounded out.
In the fifth inning Schuller struck out two batters, got a batter to pop out, and allowed only two singles. No runs were allowed in his two innings of work.
Mena started off the bottom of the fifth inning with two straight singles, but the Dragons then turned a double play and struck out Jeremiah Swint to end the game. The final score was 14-0 in favor of Genoa Central.
The Dragons of Genoa Central defeated Mena in the second game of the doubleheader as well by a score of 15-3.