Home field is sweet in McKenzie, Gleason split
Sara Reid — Special to the Weakley County Pres
At home this past Monday, the Dawgs overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 7-5, but the next day on the Rebels’ field, McKenzie gained revenge with a 6-3 victory.
In the top of the first inning in the first game, Gleason starting right-hander Thomas Fowler forced Max Arnold to ground out and struck out Seth Foster. Cody Wallace reached first when a fly ball was lost in the sun, but Jack Elliott popped up to end the at-bat.
Austin Sullivan led off with a line drive single, but after a fly out and a strike out, was thrown out attempting to steal third to wrap up the first inning.
Fowler picked up two strikeouts and a groundout in the second, the Dawgs also went down in order.
Arnold led off the third with a line drive single and Foster followed with a single. The runners advanced on a Fowler balk and Wallace collected a RBI on groundout to put the visitors on the scoreboard, 1-0. Elliott singled to center and Alex Tucker popped up to send in another run. Fowler struck out the next two batters, but McKenzie led 2-0.
In the GHS half of the third, Matt Mayo drew a one-out walk but two groundouts stranded the runner.
In the top of the fourth, Fowler forced a pop up and a groundout, but plunked Arnold and gave up a double to Foster. Arnold came in to score as MHS led 3-0.
Fowler recorded a two-out, ground-rule double that took a hop over the fence. Blake Taylor walked and Hunter Morse stepped to the plate and crushed a three-run homer for a 3-3 tie.
The Rebels put another run on the board in the fifth, but Gleason found a rhythm and quickly erased the lead. Both Mayo and Austin Sullivan singled and Cody Ezell drove in a run to tie the game, 4-4. A groundout from Spain brought home Sullivan and a Verdell double drove in another run. Fowler struck out, but Taylor singled to send in the fourth run of the inning and Gleason led 7-4 at the end of five.
Fowler picked up a strikeout and turned a double play to end the top of the sixth, but the Rebels kept the Dawgs off the bases and the scoreboard to end the inning.
The Rebels put up another run in the top of the seventh, but the home team pulled together, snatched the three outs and finished with a 7-5 triumph highlighted by a diving catch from Ryan Richardson.
In the second contest which the host Rebels won 6-3, McKenzie took an early 2-0 lead after one.
On the mound, McKenzie’s Cody Wallace forced three straight groundouts. For the Bulldogs, Gabe Lowrance picked up two strikeouts and a groundout to end the second inning.
To start the third, Richardson ripped a one-out single to left field and Mayo walked. Sullivan singled, but Richardson was thrown out at second and Mayo was also thrown out attempting a steal to keep MHS in front 2-0.
Gleason kept McKenzie off the board in the third.
In the fourth with two outs in the books, Verdell was hit by a pitch and Fowler drove a triple to the center field fence to send in a run and cut the Rebel lead in half, 2-1. While Taylor was up to bat, Fowler caught Wallace napping and stole home to tie the game, 2-2. Taylor kept the momentum going with a fly that fell in for a single. He made it to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Morse walk and came in to score on an errant throw to second to put Gleason up 3-2.
The Rebels stranded one runner in the bottom of the inning and trailed 3-2 after four innings.
Gleason looked to tack on more runs in the fifth as Sullivan walked and Ezell doubled. Mayo flew out to center, however, and Spain grounded out. Sullivan was tagged out attempting to take home plate.
McKenzie put two on base with a walk and an error. Foster walked to load the bases, but Wallace popped up and the runners could not advance. Elliott flied out to left field to score two and take back the lead for the Rebels, 4-3. A fly to deep left scored another run and another run came in on a wild throw to second base to put the Rebels up 6-3.
Verdell walked to open the sixth, but McKenzie retired the next three Dawgs to maintain the lead.
The Rebels reached base in their first two at-bats, but lined out and recorded another out on an attempted steal. Foster singled to right field and Richardson was brought in to pitch. He threw out a potential run at home plate to end the sixth inning.
In their last at-bat, the Bulldogs went down in order as McKenzie took the 6-3 revenge win.