WYOMING - It’s not often when only two hits are enough to win a high school varsity baseball game, but Thursday, July 2, in Wyoming, it was enough for the Midland baseball team.
Especially with the way Eagle senior Jensen Dodge was pitching.
“Jensen really stepped up and pitched well in this game,” said Midland baseball coach Josh Soper, as his team rallied for a 5-3 triumph over the Mohawks.
“We only had two hits, but were able to have some quality at-bats and draw some walks and use our outs to move runners.”
A Zain Sauer single scored Dodge in the bottom of the first and the hosts quickly led 1-0 before Bellevue-Marquette answered with two of their own in the top of the second to lead 2-1.
Midland (7-6) rallied with a huge three-run bottom of the fourth that saw Iziek Soper, Jamison Dodge and Ethan Paulsen all cross the plate.
It would be all Jensen Dodge would need.
The Eagle senior was masterful scattering seven Mohawk hits while striking out eight without issuing a single walk in his seven full innings of work.
Midland would add an insurance run in the sixth when Carson Hunter (pinch-running for Aaron Bixler who had singled) scored thanks to an RBI ground out off the bat of Warren Etten.
The second game saw the hosts complete the sweep as a five-run second inning keyed a 9-2 triumph over the Mohawks.
“This was as well of an all-around game that we have played,” Soper said. “Warren threw strikes and we made every play. Seven innings on 63 pitches is pretty darn good.”
The Eagles actually trailed 2-0 when Bellevue-Marquette plated two in the top of the second, but the Mohawks had no answer for Midland’s nine straight runs, which included two in the fourth and sixth frames for insurance.
“Offensively, we had hits up and down the line-up and ran the bases well,” Soper said. “Hopefully our team gains some confidence from this and helps them realize that they are improving after playing so many tough teams.”
After the second stanza, Etten had Bellevue-Marquette batters completely fooled tossing an efficient three-hit gem while striking out two without issuing a walk.
Offensively, Sauer was 3-for-3 keying a 10-hit offense for the Eagles while Alex Smith added two more hits.
The week started with a wild 7-6 setback in the first game of a doubleheader at Calamus-Wheatland Monday, June 29.
“We played really well for five-plus innings,” Soper said. “Then in the bottom of the sixth Cal-Wheat could do nothing wrong. They had a big inning with several clutch at-bats and they put balls in play that we could not get to.
“Alex pitched great for five innings. We just could not get that third out in the sixth.”
Midland jumped all over the Warriors plating four first-inning runs as Jensen Dodge, Smith, Sauer and Jamison Dodge all crossed the plate leaving Calamus-Wheatland fans stunned early.
The scored stayed 4-0 until the sixth when the Eagles tallied two more runs to lead 6-0, but then in the bottom half the hosts came alive plating seven runs to escape with the wild one-run win.
“Our team is still learning how to win against the better opponents,” Soper said. “We are right there though. We just have to keep competing and improving.”
Smith tossed all six frames on the hill and fanned eight Warrior batters allowing 10 hits while at the plate he helped himself going 3-for-4. Jamison Dodge also ripped three hits in the game while Jensen Dodge came through with two more.
The nightcap saw the hosts roll to a 9-1 rout as Calamus-Wheatland plated three first inning runs score blowing the game open adding six more in the third.
Warrior pitching limited Midland bats to four hits.
“We literally faced one of the better pitchers in the state (Caleb Banowetz) in that second game,” Soper said. “We had quality at-bats, but some disappointment from the first game carried into the second.
“We are playing an extremely difficult schedule and as of that game against Cal-Wheat, the teams we have lost to have a combined 54-12 record. Hopefully we can keep improving and be ready for the post-season.”