BISMARCK - After a scoreless first inning, the Arkadelphia Badgers scored six times in the second dinning and added nine more runs through out the game to defeat the host Bismarck Lions 13-2 at Rusty McLard Field on Thursday afternoon.
Tanner Smith pitched four innings for the Badgers in only his second outing of the game since returning from an injury. Smith commanded the strike zone by striking out four and allowing three hits. Alec Lewis came in to pitch the fifth inning and got the save.
“I am excited that Tanner came out and threw really well,” Matros said. “It was his second outing and it was good to see him get going. He was a big starter for us last year and he got his pitch count up a little bit and got tired in the fourth, but Lewis came in and did a great job. The defense played good. We had a big-time play there in the outfield, but offensively we needed to come out and establish our offense and we did that. All of that damage was with two outs and we did it with some balls in the gap with hitting well and some of it was executing hit and runs to get guys over in scoring positions. We executed the offense pretty good today and with good energy.”
Neither team scored in the first inning with Braden Gill starting on the mound for the Lions. The game took a turn in the top of the second inning. With one out, Lewis walked and Josh Wallace singled to right field. Wallace stole second and Turner Pentecost walked. With two outs, River Melugin singled to the gap in left field to bring in Lewis and Wallace. Alec Ruble followed with a triple to right-center field that brought in Pentecost and Melugin’s courtesy runner Ky Harrison. Eric Groom followed with a base hit to center field that brought in Ruble and Braydon Todd singled to left field. Smith got a base hit to left to score Groom to make it 6-0 Badgers.
Smith struck out two Lions in the bottom of the second inning as Bismarck went down in order.
Wallace led off the top of the third inning with a solo home run to left field for Arkadelphia. Pentecost singled to right field and with two outs, Ruble doubled to right-center to bring in Pentecost. Groom followed with a triple to left-center field to bring in Ruble and Todd drew a walk before the inning ended with Arkadelphia leading 9-0.
Zach Webb got the Lions first hit of the game with two outs in the bottom of the third inning, but he was left stranded on base.
Pentecost was hit by a pitch for the Badgers in the top of the fourth inning with two outs, but didn’t go any further on the bases. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jayden Howell reached on an error and Brady Depriest walked. With two outs, Collier Robertson reached on an error that scored two runs. Andrew Webb singled for Bismarck and James Kegley got a base hit up the middle, but on the play, Robertson was tagged out at the plate. Bismarck trailed 9-2.
In the top of the fifth inning, Melugin led off with a single to left field. Ruble singled to let field and Cole Kirksey beat out an infield bunt for a hit to load the bases. Todd hit a high fly ball to left field that was not touched and hit the ground for a base hit. Harrison scored for Arkadelphia, but due to the shallowness of Todd’s hit, Ruble didn’t have time to get to third base. Smith followed with a walk to reload the bases. With two outs, Wallace doubled to the gap in right-center field to clear the bases. Arkadelphia led 13-2 when the top half of the fifth ended.
In the Bismarck half of the fifth inning, Zach Webb reached first on a catcher’s interference call, but Pentecost turned a 4-3 double-play and a diving catch in center field ended the game.