Mexico baseball seniors surge past Moberly 4-1

By Jeremy Jacob, Sports Editor
Posted 3/22/23

In from the cold, Mexico baseball dealt with the heat on Monday.

Mexico vs Moberly Photo Gallery

The Bulldogs played their season opener at home after three postponements, which also …

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Mexico baseball seniors surge past Moberly 4-1


In from the cold, Mexico baseball dealt with the heat on Monday.

Mexico vs Moberly Photo Gallery

The Bulldogs played their season opener at home after three postponements, which also happened to be its North Central Missouri Conference and Class 4 District 7 opener against Moberly. Three Mexico seniors drove in runs for the 4-1 victory over the Spartans.

Landyn Kleinsorge came through in the third inning with a two-RBI double to get the Bulldogs on the board prior to Tyler Thoenen smacking a RBI double one batter later. Matt McCurdy tacked on a run with a single in the sixth inning.

“They came in clutch and just dialed in and hit the gaps in right center and left center,” head coach Daniel McCarty said about Nos. 3 and 4 hitters Kleinsorge and Thoenen. “If we can start doing that 1-9, look out.”

McCarty said Moberly is a team that stands out because of its pitching, which is what Mexico focused on the past couple of practices. The Bulldogs were unable to get any game action under their belt outside of last week’s jamboree as their home game Friday and pair of Saturday road games were postponed because of the cold weather.

With it just a bit chilly and windy on Monday, Moberly starting pitcher Mitchell Bruce was throwing heat as McCarty said he isn’t the only Spartan pitcher that reach the 80s on a radar gun. Bruce walked one Bulldog through two innings and had Mexico with two outs in the second inning before the runs started crossing the plate.

“They have three guys in the 80s,” McCarty said. “We don’t normally face that very often. It was our first conference game, first game of the year and also it’s our first district game. With all three components combined, we came out kind of stale, but after the third inning, we started putting some timely hits together.”

Kleinsorge said it was great to officially begin the season and even better to beat a team of Moberly’s caliber. He said Bruce was “on fire” and was being effective with his fastball down.

Suddenly, Bruce was in more three-ball counts, walking two hitters in the third inning. The Spartans were able to catch one runner stealing, but after Austin Maxwell walked one of two times, Kleinsorge lifted a 2-2 pitch over the centerfielder’s head. The defender’s cap flew off, and Bulldogs flew around the bases for a 2-0 lead.

“That first outing, I had his fastball timed when I grounded out,” Kleinsorge said. “I was like, ‘OK, I got him now. Just chase fastball the rest of the time and should be able to take him.’ It did worry me a little bit. I got 2-2, and I was expecting curveball. I had to adjust, but it was fun.”

Thoenen reached out at the top of the zone on a 3-2 pitch to add an insurance run, and before long, Kleinsorge appeared on the mound to close out the game.
Mexico’s senior No. 1 Jack Wilburn completed four innings with five hits, one run, one walk and one strikeout to secure his ninth career win. Kleinsorge added three shutout innings of four strikeouts and two hits.

“At first, they were kind of rusty,” McCarty said. “After getting through the nerves of the first inning, (Wilburn) just did his thing. He coasted — threw strikes, got ground balls, got easy outs. That’s what our game plan is — to attack the zone and hope for soft contact.

“He’s my guy that will come in there and say, ‘Just give me the ball.’ He’s a senior and he’s mentally tough, so I just give him the ball and he does his thing.”

The junior varsity Bulldogs won 4-0 in five innings. Tyson Carr finished 2-for-2 with two RBI and struck out five in two one-hit innings, Kaden Benne went 2-for-2 with an RBI, Drew DeMint drove in a run and Brady Fox struck out four in two hitless innings.

Mexico is scheduled to play its second straight conference game at home at 5 p.m. Thursday against Marshall. After extending an 11-game winning streak against Moberly, the Bulldogs hope to snap a nine-game losing streak to the Owls.