Coming off semifinal losses Saturday morning, Borgia and Pacific looked to salvage the day in the third-place game of the championship bracket in the Four Rivers Baseball Classic.
The Indians (3-1) broke the game open with four runs in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings in a 10-1 victory over the Knights at Borgia High School.
Pacific bounced right back after dropping a 2-0 decision to Festus in the semifinals.
“I was happy with the way we came back and played a good game against Borgia after the loss to Festus,” said Pacific Head Coach Jeff Reed. “It was nice to get another good pitching performance and to see our offense wake up a little.”
Borgia suffered a 6-0 semifinal setback earlier in the day to Washington.
“I didn’t think the day could get much worse than losing to Washington in the morning, but then Pacific came and kicked our behinds in the third-place game,” said Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff. “Credit Jeff for getting his players ready for the game. They’d just lost a heartbreaker to Festus. They did a great job bouncing back in a hurry.”
Lucas Zurliene, a sophomore southpaw, tossed the first six innings for Pacific to earn the win. He allowed one run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Fellow sophomore Austin Muich worked a scoreless seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out two.
“Zurliene did a great job. He threw strikes. He didn’t walk anyone,” Reed said. “We got two really good starting performances on Saturday from our lefties, which was nice to see. Both Lucas and Hank (Vandaveer) were able to throw two or three pitches for strikes.”
Mitchell Hammack was the starting pitcher for Borgia and suffered the loss. In 3.1 innings of work, he allowed seven runs, five earned, on two hits with six walks and two strikeouts.
Zach Marquart tossed the final 2.2 frames. He allowed three runs on six hits with no walks or strikeouts.
“Once again, we couldn’t throw strikes or play defense and Pacific took advantage,” Struckhoff said. “In the third and fourth innings, Pacific scored eight runs on a combined three hits. It was pretty ugly to watch. However, we’ve had days like this in years past and we’ve always regrouped. This team will do the same.”
Hank Vandaveer, Tyler Straatmann and James Howie (one double) each had two hits to pace Pacific’s eight-hit attack. Straatmann also was hit by a pitch.
Vandaveer and Straatmann both added two runs and one RBI. Howie had two RBIs and one run.
“Straatmann had a decent day with two hits in both games,” Reed said. “Howie had a couple of big hits, including a double in the fourth inning.”
Hunter Finney and Allen Fitzgerald both finished with one hit. Fitzgerald added two RBIs. Finney also was hit by a pitch and had one RBI.
Lane Smith, Ryan Howell and Drew Fonner each scored a run. Fonner was hit by a pitch.
“After we put a couple of runs on the scoreboard, that helped us relax and get our confidence up,” Reed said. “We didn’t handle the adversity very well offensively in the Festus game, but we came back pretty well against Borgia. Once the score got to be 5-0, everybody wanted to grab a bat. It’s easy once you score a few runs.”
Justin Baylard and Zach Marquart both collected two hits for Borgia.
Marquart also scored a run on an RBI by Todd Kleekamp.
With Pacific leading 8-0, Borgia scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning.
The Indians added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.