Bulldogs fall in pitcher's duel

Bulldogs fall in pitcher's duel
Mexico first baseman Tristan Playter stretches to make the out. The district second round game was just as close, with the Bulldogs falling 2-1. [Eric Mattson]
Dave Faries

Mexico could not solve the riddles tossed by Macon hurler Chrisjen Riekeberg. Meanwhile the Tigers did just enough to squeak by the Bulldogs 2-1 on Tuesday night at the district tournament in Moberly.

The Bulldogs managed just three hits – two by Andrew Runge – and only two other baserunners against Riekeberg. But Mexico held a slim 1-0 lead going into the fifth thanks to a masterful effort on the mound by Josh Forbis.

In a classic pitcher’s duel, Forbis allowed just five hits and one walk on the night.

The game was scoreless through three. Mexico broke through with two down in the top of the fourth when Tyler Thoenen reached first on an error and promptly stole second. Runge ripped a single to left, bringing Thoenen home.

Runge swiped second to put himself in scoring position. But Forbis’ drive to left was hauled in by Macon’s Trevin Shrum to end the inning.

The Tigers opened the bottom of the fifth with back to back hits by Preston Stewart and Jakeb Swallow. An error loaded the bases.

Forbis got the next three batters out – two on ground balls, one caught looking – but Macon managed to score twice, taking a 2-1 lead.

Despite Riekeberg’s stranglehold on Mexico bats, the Bulldogs had one more rally left in them. Thoenen drew a walk to start the seventh. With one out, Forbis singled to left and Hunter Woolfolk laid down a perfect sacrifice, moving Forbis and pinch runner Brock Smythe to second and third.

Now with two down, Brayden Dunn smacked the ball up the middle. But Riekeberg had been Mexico’s nemesis all game. He nabbed the Bulldogs’ potential game winner and threw to first for the final out.

Mexico’s season wrapped up with a respectable 11-12 record. As a team they surpassed the goal of 100 stolen bases, recording 106 – 17 by Daeye Miller, 15 by Jesse Fennewald and 14 by Ty Prince.


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