It was a win which could help greatly for district seeding purposes.
Borgia (10-6) posted a 9-3 win Friday over Fatima at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Both teams are in Class 3 District 8, which will be hosted by Fulton High School. Other teams in that district are Blair Oaks, Fulton, Hermann, Montgomery County, North Callaway and Owensville.
“What a great game this was for us,” Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff said. “We definitely could’ve had a letdown after the big win over Washington, but we came together and collected another come-from-behind win.”
Fatima jumped on top and was up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
“Grant Eckelkamp and Jack Kopmann came up with big RBI singles to tie the game,” Struckhoff said. “Michael Kren (running for Austin Rettke, who walked), Sam (Deschenes), and Grant all scored in the inning.”
The Knights attacked again in the next inning.
Matt Jones led off the sixth with a single. Mitchell Hammack, seeing playing time for the injured Noah Borgerding, and Brendan Kleekamp, each reached on bunts Fatima couldn’t handle.
The Comets did record outs against Brendan Feldmann and Deschenes, but Borgia scored twice. Jack Kopmann and Trent Leimkuehler later singled to drive in runs.
“I was proud of the way our batters battled with their pitchers,” Struckhoff said. “Fatima’s got some talented players and they will definitely be a team to look out for in districts.”
Rettke pitched the first four innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits. He struck out two.
Leimkuehler earned the victory, throwing three innings. He allowed one unearned run on three hits while striking out four.
“Austin and Trent were spectacular on the mound for us,” Struckhoff said. “Austin threw strikes and allowed his defense to make the plays. He did exactly what we wanted from him. Trent then came in to finish and get the win. He’s got a little more velocity than Austin, so it was a nice change of pace and it really affected their hitters.”
At the plate, Kopmann and Eckelkamp each had two hits. Kopmann scored, walked and drove in three runs.
“Jack had a great game at the plate with a couple of big hits in the fifth and sixth,” Struckhoff said. “However, we had contributions up and down the lineup.”
Batters with one hit each were Jones, Leimkuehler, Kleekamp and Hammack.
Leimkuehler drove in two. Kleekamp scored. Hammack scored.
Deschenes walked, scored twice and drove in a run. Rettke walked and scored. Feldmann had an RBI. Kren and Todd Kleekamp each scored runs.
Borgia fell Monday at home to Timberland, 5-1.
“We came out flat and paid for it,” Struckhoff said. “We could only muster two hits and a sacrifice fly by Austin Rettke in the bottom of the seventh.”
Feldmann pitched for the Knights, but didn’t get much support according to Struckhoff.
“Brendan Feldmann pitched pretty well but didn’t get any help from his defense or offense,” Struckhoff said. “He made a few mistakes with location and they turned them into runs. I’ll take his performance on most nights, though.”
Struckhoff praised Timberland’s pitcher for keeping the Knights from being able to find holes in the defense.
“Their pitcher wasn’t overpowering, but just kept us from getting the barrel on the ball,” said Struckhoff. “Reminded me a lot of the kid for Kirksville last year in the sectional game. When we did manage to hit it hard, they made the plays.”
Borgia’s defense, which has been solid lately, also let down.
“We also had too many mistakes on defense,” Struckhoff said. “We misplayed two ground balls and two bunts. We also turned a base hit into a triple. When the offense isn’t going, the defense must perform better.”
The Knights visited Union Tuesday. Borgia comes back to host Blair Oaks Thursday in another game which could have district implications. That game starts at 4:30 p.m.