The Madisonville Mustangs baseball team finished 3-0-1 at a tournament in La Grange over the weekend with wins over Columbus, Navarro and La Vernia to improve their record to 7-4-1 at the conclusion of tournament season.
“I was not sure where we were at heading into the tournament,” said Coach Adam Borgfeld. “We knew we were getting better but this weekend really turned us in the right direction. To beat those teams is a confidence booster because we know that we can play with anyone and be successful.”
In the team’s 3-0 victory over Navarro on Friday, Max Allen recorded a complete game shutout on the mound with 74 pitchers in seven innings. The Madisonville offense recorded eight hits in the game, including a two-RBI single off the bat of Brandon Larson.
“(Allen) got ahead in the count,” said Borgfeld. “The chances of getting someone out are 75 percent higher if you can start out with a strike. He did a great job of mixing his pitches and keeping them off balance all day.”
The Mustang pictures were in control all weekend and did not allow more than four runs in any of the tournament matchups. Part of the success was the fielding behind them. Mistakes have plagued the Mustangs to this point in the season, but they only committed three total errors in La Grange.
In the weekend’s first contest against Columbus, Madisonville came up with eight runs in the top of the second inning and cruised to an 11-4 victory. Larson was on the bump for the majority of the game and surrendered four runs, only one of which was earned.
Brad Rudis, Danny Young and Kody Nye each recorded two RBIs on the night while Allen, Larson and Cody Borgfeld added one apiece.
“We hit the ball better than we have all year on a whole,” said Borgfeld. “We were able to get guys on base and come through with a key hit to bring people in. I thought we did a better job with situational hitting than we previously had.”
On Thursday’s 2-2 tie against the host La Grange, starting pitcher Dylan Stanley logged five-and a-third innings and surrendered just three hits. He gave up a pair of runs before he was relieved by Gage Smith. Young and Larson each brought home a run in the tie.
The final matchup of the weekend came against La Vernia, where Borgfeld coached before coming to Madisonville. The Mustangs were able to pick up a 5-3 win thanks to great base running and a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Rudis brought home a pair in the victory with a crucial two-RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, which tied the game at three at the time. Rudis also started the game on the mound and surrendered three runs through four innings of work. Smith came in and closed out the final three innings, surrendering two hits.
The Mustangs will now see three more quality opponents before they officially begin their district schedule in Fairfield on March 22. The matchups will come against Caldwell, Lufkin-Hudson (a top-10 team in the state) and Bellville.
Borgfeld believes the weekend did wonders for the team’s confidence moving forward and has noticed an energized atmosphere in his clubhouse since.
“Based on our performance, I think we are making strides,” said Borgfeld. “We are by no means where we want to be, because we have not done anything yet. But I think we are certainly making strides in the right direction.”