Macks Creek matched up with the Fordland Eagles on Tuesday night in the first game of pool play for the Wheatland Tournament. In the end it was the Eagles that came away with a 3-0 win.
Macks Creek’s Cameron Charlton banged a two out double in the top of the first but was left stranded.
Fordland plated one run in the bottom of the first. Fordland’s Corey Sampaio doubled to right-center field with two outs and came around to score when Skyler Grandel's ball to left was dropped. A hit-by-pitch to Brett Hyder preceded a ground out by Noah Sparks to second to end the inning.
The fourth inning saw Macks Creek’s Oscar Cortez reach on a hit-by-pitch and Charlton single up the middle. Jesse Linton would hit into a double play, erasing Charlton but moving Cortez to third. A ground out to second by Gage Mashburn ended the Pirates’ inning.
Macks Creek again put a runner in scoring position in the fifth. Hunter Lane singled and stole second. A strike out, ground out to the pitcher, and another strike out ended with his stranded at third.
Fordland put two runners on again in the third with one out but could push nothing across. In the fifth they plated two more. Corey Sampaio reached on an error and Skyler Grandel singled before Brett Hyder walked. Noah Sparks then ripped a ball up the middle to plate two runs and move Hyder to third.
A hit-by-pitch drew a mound conference to settle down the Macks Creek hurler. Lane settled down and struck out the next hitter before Hyder was retired trying to score on a wild pitch. Charlton assisted on the play. A soft liner back to the mound ended the threat with minimal damage.
Mashburn singled up the middle for the Pirates with one but was erased on a double play to second off the bat of Lane.
"Hunter threw well and worked himself out of a couple of early jams to limit the damage today," Pirates' skipper Jason Trusty said. “He showed a lot of grit while working and was able to build off of his last start.
"He still has some tweaks mechanically but we are excited to see his work tonight," the coach added.
Lane dropped to 1-1 on the spring in his second start. He worked the first five innings, allowing three unearned runs on five hits while striking out four, walking four, and hitting two batters. Fellow Freshman Cole Register relieved and worked the sixth. He faced three batters and retired all three.
Offensively Macks Creek's Charlton banged out a single and a double in his three trips to the plate. Lane and Mashburn each collected the other two hits, a pair of singles. Cortez reached on a hit-by-pitch.
"We had a couple of opportunities to score a couple runs but weren't able to get that clutch hit," Trusty said. "That's something we'll get better at hopefully as the season continues to progress."
Macks Creek falls back to .500 at 3-3 and 0-1 in pool play while Fordland moves to 5-1 and 1-0.
The Pirates were scheduled to play a doubleheader Wednesday night against Fair Play and host Wheatland before mother nature intervened.
Story provided courtesy of Macks Creek School District