WYOMING - It was almost like they could do no wrong.
With starting pitcher Jensen Dodge absolutely dominating, and the offense clicking into high gear in the bottom of the fifth, the Midland baseball team closed out an impressive performance in the first game of a doubleheader against visiting Starmont Thursday, June 6.
“We really dominated this doubleheader,” said Eagle baseball coach Josh Soper, as his team crushed the Stars 10-0 in the opener before cruising to an 18-3 thumping of the visitors in the finale.
“Jensen had a great all-around night. He has really been a spark plug on offense for us. Obviously, Starmont gave is a lot of freebies (walks and errors), but credit our guys for running the bases well and taking advantage of those mistakes.”
Dodge, Zain Sauer and Alex Smith all crossed the plate in the bottom of the first, keyed by several Starmont errors before Jamisen Dodge scored in the second.
The hosts ended it early and in walk-off fashion when Soper, Britan Martens, Jamisen Dodge, Brett Schoenherr, Sawyer Hansen and Wilson Buckwalter all scored in the fifth.
Dodge was brilliant tossing a complete game three-hitter while fanning eight Starmont batters.
The second game was even more lopsided as a six-run second inning and seven-run fourth keyed a huge 18-3 rout over the Stars.
Buckwalter scored four times and was 2-for-2 with two RBIs while Jensen Dodge was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and four runs batted in.
Sauer was 2-for-3 with four more RBIs.
Midland (9-3, 8-2) was in Central City Monday, June 3, and swept a doubleheader from the Wildcats taking 5-1 and 8-5 decisions.
The Eagles led 2-1 in the opener before a three-run top of the sixth gave the team some insurance.
It was more than Smith would need, who tossed a gem allowing just four hits while striking out 12 in his 6.2 innings of work on the mound.
“The first game was a pitcher’s duel between Alex and Nick Reid, from Central City,” Soper said. “Both guys did a great job of throwing first pitch strikes and locating their pitches.”
Buckwalter set the tone early however launching a two-run home run in the top of the first.
“Scoring first helped our guys to settle in and relax,” Soper said. “We had good at-bats throughout the game and eventually wore Reid down being able to have a three-run sixth inning.”
Sauer, Smith and Jamisen Dodge all scored in the big sixth stanza.
The second game was a much more back and forth contest as the Wildcats twice answered Eagle runs with runs of their own before the visitors ended things with three unanswered runs in the final two frames.
“Brit did it all in this game,” Soper said. “He contributed on the mound, catching and with his bat. His three-run homer provided us some breathing room.”
With the game tied at 2-2 in the fourth, Martens deposited the baseball over the outfield fence plating teammates Schoenherr and Jensen Dodge.
Central City answered but when Martens and Buckwalter scored in the sixth, Midland had a lead they would not lose.
Martens was 3-for-3 with four runs scored and three RBIs while Sauer was 3-for-4.
Martens tossed the first three innings on the hill and fanned three Wildcats batters before Jensen Dodge finished up working the final four frames striking out four.
Taking part at the annual Calamus-Wheatland Invitational Saturday, June 8, the Eagles opened with an impressive 2-1 victory over North Cedar.
Midland broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth when a Smith double plated Buckwalter with what proved to be the game winner.
Smith and Buckwalter were sensational on the mound as well, combining to work all seven frames allowing no earned runs and fanning nine.
The finale saw Camanche claim a wild 6-5 victory scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
The Eagles had led 5-1 into the third inning.