PITTSBURG — Pittsburg High School won both games in the doubleheader against St. Mary’s Colgan, 6-2 and 12-0, Tuesday night to kick off the local action in the Mo-Kan League.
Colgan led to begin the first game, but a middle-innings rally by PHS saw the Purple Dragons taking the opener by four runs, with Jake Webb earning the start and the win.
“I thought we played really well,” PHS head coach Keith Matlock said. “Jake struggled a little bit early and then found his rhythm and started to settle in.”
After getting the first two men on base to begin the game, SMC’s Simon Higginbotham capitalized with a sacrifice fly to give the Panthers a one-run lead.
However, the Purple Dragons tied the game in the third inning on a double by Webb.
The Dragons took the lead in the fourth with a two-run single off the bat of Dylan White, an RBI single by Dalton Gromer and a single by Chase Curtis that drove in one more.
PHS tacked on one more in the seventh thanks to another Curtis RBI single, holding the Panthers to one run over the remainder of the contest.
“I thought both teams played really well,” SMC head coach Aaron Snow said. “Their starter came out and threw well and we threw well the first couple innings as well and let a few things slip away and then it got out of our reach a little bit, but we had a few players out of place and some young guys playing in spots their not used to, so we’ll continue to get better.”
Curtis was the leader offensively for Pittsburg, going 3 for 4 with two RBIs.
White also played well with three hits and two RBIs.
“At the plate, I thought we did some good jobs,” Matlock said. “We squandered some opportunities to score, but we did a nice job there in the third, the fourth and the fifth of coming up with some timely hits and doing some things we needed to do.”
Cade Simmons was the leader for the Panthers, going 2 for 3.
Drew Beck and Austin Lindsey were also seeing the ball well, with two hits apiece.
Game two ended early due to rain, but PHS left little doubt as to which team would come out on top after leading by 12 runs with Trent Austin on the mound.
“You hate to see games like that,” Matlock said. “I thought we played really well. I thought we squared balls up and we hit balls well. Trent Austin did a good job on the mound, keeping them off base and you hate to see baseball games like that, but we were happy we played that way.”
After the Purple Dragons took an early one-run lead in the opening inning on an RBI single by Noah Vaughn, PHS extended the lead to four after plating two runs in the second inning on a single by Elijah Harris and one more in the third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Austin.
Pittsburg ran away with the game in the fourth inning after crossing the plate eight times thanks to seven consecutive walks to begin the inning, a two-RBI single by Vaughn and a fielder’s choice that allowed one more runner to score.
Vaughn was the offensive catalyst for PHS, going 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
Jerek Batcher also had a quality game with two hits, two stolen bases and a run scored.
Dominic Piccini had the one SMC hit in the game, along with VanBecelaere, Lindsey and Jeremiah Buche all drawing a walk in their at-bats.
“We had some arms that haven’t thrown in a while, so we wanted to get them out there and get them acclimated to being on the mound again and get them game innings rather than just bullpen innings,” Snow said. “It’s a learning game for them, you get your teeth kicked in, you bounce back and play another day.”
Jordan Buckamneer is a sports reporter of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @jbuckamneer.