Ike steals 8-6 win at Mac
There's something in the water, or maybe MacArthur's field for that matter.
Eisenhower baseball notched an 8-6 victory over MacArthur (12-6, 4-2 District 5A-2) on Monday afternoon, just three days after the Eagles knocked off their city rivals in the Bo Bowman Invitational on the same field.
"It's pretty big to get a district win against a solid team like MacArthur," Ike pitcher Tyler Dunn said. "To see that Eisenhower can beat them really boosts our confidence."
After leaving 13 runners on base and stranding a trio of runners three times in the game with the bases loaded, Eisenhower (4-11, 1-5 District 5A-2) somehow found a way to win despite not capitalizing as often as it could have.
"I'm still trying to figure out how we did it," Ike coach Jay Vermillion said. "When you don't capitalize on their mistakes, it can come back and bite you. A team like MacArthur can really swing the bats and score runs. Luckily, we fought them off today."
The Eagles had a little help as Mac beaned seven Eagles and walked an additional eight batters to give Ike plenty of free baserunners.
"We hit three batters with 0-2 counts. That kills you," Mac coach Rodney DeLong said. "We were right there on the verge of getting out of innings and we hit them. Young pitchers need to learn to pitch spot up."
The Highlanders may have given the Eagles plenty of extra chances, but Ike still had to hit the ball to plate eight runs. Ike used a trio of multi-run innings and a series of timely hits including two doubles and two RBIs from Jr. Ladore to give Dunn enough run support on the mound.
"It's exciting to see our hitting is coming around a bit, and it's a big confidence booster for our kids," Vermillion said. "We needed our guys in the middle of our lineup to do a good job of driving in runs."
Dunn got a full workload in as the senior tossed 130 pitches on the mound, 85 of which were strikes, en route to a full seven innings and a complete game. The Eagles yielded six runs but only three were charged to Dunn as the Ike defense committed several errors, four of which came in the first two innings. Mac's four runs in the first two innings put Dunn in an early hole, but he refused to fold.
Dunn recovered to strike out 10 Highlanders and giving up five hits to keep the MacArthur offense at bay before eventually earning the win.
"You have to know how to bounce back from that," Dunn said of the early deficit. "It makes me extremely happy when I get a strikeout. It's just showing I did my job to my fullest potential."