Riley Marlow will beat out this bunt for a single as Lyle/Pacelli pitcher Jordan Hart is unable to make a play. Mabel-Canton split a double header at Austin with the league-leading Athletics. EPPS/NEWS-RECORD
Riley Marlow will beat out this bunt for a single as Lyle/Pacelli pitcher Jordan Hart is unable to make a play. Mabel-Canton split a double header at Austin with the league-leading Athletics. EPPS/NEWS-RECORD
The M-C baseball team split a double header with Lyle-Pacelli at Austin's Marcusen Park last Friday. The Cougars were one out away from victory when a walk-off two-RBI double salvaged game one for the league-leading Athletics. After that gut-wrenching 3-2 loss, the Cougars won the nightcap 7-3.

M-C at Lyle/Pacelli, May 2

M-C 000 000 2 - 2 5 2

L/P 000 100 2 - 3 6 2

Game one was a pitchers' duel. M-C did not lead until a two-RBI single from Noah Manning put the Cougars up 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning. Collin O'Bieglo had reached base with a walk followed by a single from Keyser Wenthold.

In the bottom of the inning, a single and the only stolen base of the game from L/P sophomore Daniel Bollingberg put the tying run in scoring position with two outs. The Cougars then issued an intentional walk to Jordan Hart, creating a force out at every base. Then Matt Kasel, who had not hit the ball out of the infield in three previous trips, lined the first pitch over the left fielder's head almost to the fence (over 340 feet), and the game was over. That double, Kasel's only hit, was by far the hardest hit ball of the game and the only extra-base hit.

The Athletics had only six hits and the Cougars five. But L/P put their hits together - twice. The home team had broken a scoreless tie with three hits in the fourth. That 1-0 L/P lead held until the Cougars finally put two hits together in the final inning.

Hart, the winning pitcher, struck out 11 and walked five. O'Bieglo, the Cougars' pitcher of record, fanned eight batters and walked only two before the intentional pass. Manning and Bollingberg, both going two-for-four, were the only batters with multiple hits.

The defensive play of the game came when M-C second baseman Riley Marlow made a dazzling diving catch while retreating into right field. There were also good line-drive grabs by first baseman Jon Selness and short-stop Tannor Fairchild.

LOB: MC 9, L/P 7

Stolen bases: MC 0, L/P 1

Pitcher - M-C:

(LP) O'Bieglo 7 IP, 3R (3 ER) 6H, 8K, 3W

Pitcher - L/P:

(WP) Hart 7 IP, 2R (2 ER) 5H, 11K, 5W, 1 HB

Extra-base hits: M-C none; L/P double

Hits - MC: Manning 2-4, 2RBI; Michels 1-3; Wenthold 1-4, run (Lee run)

Hits - L/P: Bollingberg 2-4, RBI, run, sb; Kraushaar 1-2, run; Kocer 1-3; Hart 1-3; Kasel 1-4, dbl,

M-C at Lyle/Pacelli, game two

M-C 112 021 0 - 7 10 1

L/P 001 100 1 - 3 7 2

Three runs were just enough for L/P in the first game, but not nearly enough in the nightcap.

Winning pitcher Wesley Richert struck out five and walked only one while being backed up with some great plays in the outfield. Jon Selness (in left field) robbed the second L/P batter of the game. Fairchild, playing short-stop, retreated into center field for a diving catch in the second. But the most critical catch was when Wenthold made an incoming two-out diving grab in center field to save two potential tying runs and preserve a 4-2 M-C lead in the fourth.

M-C had scored in each of the first three innings to lead 4-0

After L/P got back within two runs (4-2), M-C scored the next three to take a 7-2 lead into the seventh. The last Cougar run came with a double steal as Manning came home while Fairchild swiped second base.

Six Cougars contributed to an 11-hit attack: Wenthold hit three-for-five (double, RBI) while Manning (double, RBI) and Fairchild each went two-for-three and Bryce Michels two-for-four (double, RBI).

It was the first league loss for defending champion L/P (5-4, 4-1 SEC) while the Cougars improved to 2-3 (2-2 SEC).

LOB: MC 10, L/P 8

Stolen bases: MC 6, L/P1

Pitchers - M-C:

(WP) Richert 7 IP, 3R (2 ER) 7H, 5K, 1W, 2HB

Pitchers - L/P:

(LP) Juenger 1 IP, 2R (2 ER), 4H, 0K, 1W

Cotter 6 IP, 5R (3 ER) 7H, 5K, 4W, 1HB

Extra-base hits: M-C 3 doubles, L/P 1 double

Hits - MC: Wenthold 3-5, dbl, RBI, run, sb; Manning 2-3, dbl, RBI, 2 runs, 2sb: Fairchild 2-3, run, sb; Michels 2-4, dbl, RBI, run; Marlow 1-3, RBI; Selness 1-5; (O'Bieglo 2 RBI, sac).

Hits - L/P: Kocer 2-3; Hart 2-4, dbl, RBI, sb; Kasel 1-3, RBI: Bauer 1-3; Bollingberg 1-3, run; (Cotter run).

SEC Baseball

Lyle/Pacelli 6-1 (7-5 season)

Mabel-Canton 5-2 (5-3 season)

Houston 1-5 (1-5 season)

Schaeffer 0-4 (1-5 season)