By Don Brown
The Cougar baseball team played two more summer games Tuesday at Don Lee Field, defeating Butler County 6-4 in the first game, then battling to a 0-0 tie against Muhlenberg County in the nightcap before the game was called because of the late hour.
Dalton Logsdon earned the victory in this one as he pitched all five innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out nine, and all four runs the Bears scored were unearned.
The Cougars scratched out a run in the top of the first to make it 1-0. With one out, Wyatt Skaggs was hit by a pitch. Skaggs moved to second on a passed ball, then went to third when Bear hurler Rex Henderson was called for a balk.
Logsdon followed by grounding out to second for the second out, but Skaggs was able to score on the play to put the Cougars on top.
A Cougar error opened the door for three unearned Bear runs in the second inning. Tyler Johnson led off with a single. Henderson followed by hitting a ground ball to Cougar second baseman Chance Perkins. Perkins fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw was wild at second and everyone was safe.
Logsdon struck out Brandon Jones, but walked Trevor Parker to load the bases. Logsdon then walked Ty Burden to tie the score at 1-1. A wild pitch and a passed ball brought in the other two runs and the Bears led 3-1.
The Cougars answered right back with three runs in the top of the third to regain the lead. Perkins was safe at first on an error, then was sacrificed to second by Corbin Harris. Logan Ramsey singled to left, putting runners at the corners.
With two outs, Logsdon was safe on another Bear error as Perkins came in to score. Logsdon stole second before both he and Ramsey scored on a single up the middle by Kevin Pierce and the Cougars led 4-3.
The Bears tied things again with a run in the bottom of the third. With one out, catcher Clark Parker walked and reached second on an errant pick-off attempt by Logsdon. Parker then stole third base and came home on a two-out error by shortstop Alex Shellhart.
The Cougars scored twice to take the lead for good in the top of the fifth. Ramsey led off with a walk and stole second base. With one out, Logsdon singled up the middle to drive in Ramsey to make it 5-4. Logsdon took second on the play at the plate. Logsdon later stole third base and was able to score when the throw could not be handled by Parker at third.
The Bears then had the tying runs on base with two outs in their final at bat, but Logsdon induced Johnson to ground out to Shellhart at short, and the Cougars had the win.
This was a pitcher’s duel from start to finish. Kevin Pierce pitched all six innings for the Cougars. allowing no runs on just two hits while walking one and striking out five.
Kyle Moore started for the Mustangs and pitched five innings. He also allowed no runs on two hits and six strike outs. Neal Kirkpatrick relieved Moore in the sixth and retired the Cougars with the winning run at second base.
The Mustangs put a runner at third base with two outs, but Pierce got Kirkpatrick on a liner to Shellhart for the final out of the inning.
Grayson County also put a runner at third with two outs in their half of the first, but Moore retired Pierce on a ground out to end that threat.
Muhlenberg County was in business again in the third inning when they put runners at the corners with just one out, but Pierce struck out Will Broady, then got Moore to ground out to end the inning.
Grayson County missed a chance to score in the third inning. Ramsey was hit by a pitch leading off the inning. Ramsey was off and running on a 1-2 pitch to Skaggs, who lined a rope over the bag at second. Because the runner was on the move, Mustang shortstop Will Booth had come over to cover the bag, and he was in the perfect spot to spear the line drive, then throw to first for the easy double play.
Joseph Anthony followed with a single that would have plated a run, but instead the Cougars went scoreless when Pierce grounded out to end the inning.
TIn the first inning, the Mustangs put a runner at second with two outs in the top of the fifth, but Pierce picked off Tommy Woernley at second to end the threat.
After Pierce worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning, Logan Stevenson doubled with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to put the winning run in scoring position. But Kirkpatrick struck out Bret Crawford to end the inning, and the umpires called the game as the clock was moving on towards everyone’s bedtime.