MORRISON, Ill. — Morrison scored first Tuesday, and more importantly, it scored last in the ninth inning to beat Fulton 5-4 in Three Rivers Conference baseball.
Morrison took advantage of Fulton miscues to win.
WIth one out in the ninth, shortstop Seth Sanderson’s throw to home plate with two runners on was short to Steamers catcher Jake VanZuiden. As a result, Chance Bender scored to give the Mustangs the win.
Bender led off the inning with a single and took second on an error, followed by Ethan Fischbach reaching base on a fielder’s choice that sent Bender to third base.
“It was a great effort out of both teams,” Morrison Coach Ben Sondgeroth said. “It was a cold night, and a hard night to play baseball.”
The win kept Morrison (10-1) undefeated in the Three Rivers at 4-0 heading into Thursday’s game against Erie/Prophetstown
“It’s a big win as it sets up for conference,” Sondgeroth said. “We have an unblemished conference record. To be able to sneak a win out sets us up well.”
Fulton Coach Kyle Miller sent ace Devon Ballard to the mound.
Ballard threw every pitch for the Steamers (6-2) in his 8 1/3-inning performance. He threw 142 pitches, struck out seven, walked four and allowed eight hits.
“That was one of the gutsiest pitching performances I have ever seen,” Miller said. “He really didn’t deserve the outcome.”
Fulton gave Ballard four runs of support in the fifth inning. The Steamers’ big hit came on a two-run single from VanZuiden.
However, Morrison tied it in the fifth on an RBI double off Justin Jensen’s bat.
“We answered with three runs of our own in the fifth,” Sondgeroth said. “Our guys weren’t going to be be blown away lightly. For our guys to tie the game was huge.”
Joey Brackemyer was the Mustangs’ starting pitcher, making his first pitching appearance after serving a suspension for violating school policy.
Brackemyer threw 104 pitches in his five-inning outing, as he allowed four hits and zero earned runs, and struck out nine Steamers.
“He threw well for not having any game experience,” Sondgeroth said. “I had all the confidence in the world for him.”
PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. — Princeton handed Erie/Prophetstown a 12-2, five-inning loss Tuesday in the Three Rivers Conference.
The Panthers (3-3, 1-2 TRAC) got RBIs from Kale Orman and Brandon Howell in the loss.
MORRISON 5, FULTON 4
Fulton 000 040 000 — 4 6 3
Morrison 001 030 001 — 5 7 5
Devon Ballard (8 1/3 ip, 7 h, 5 r, 4 er, 4 bb. 7 so) and Jake Van Zuiden. Joey Brackemyer (5 ip, 4 h, 4 r, 0 er, 3 bb, 9 so), Mason Sitzmore (4 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 1 so) and Justin Jensen. Multiple hits — Morrison (Jensen 2, Sitzmore 2). 2B — Morrison (Jensen). RBIs — Fulton (Vanzuiden 2, Jason Ryder, Devin Bly, Trey Simmons); Morrison ( Brackemyer 2, Jensen 2, Ben Tegeler).
PRINCETON 12, ERIE/PROPHETSTOWN 2
Princeton 402 24 — 12 15 4
E/P 010 10 — 2 3 4
RBIs — (E/P) Kale Orman, Brandon Howell.