Twelve was a lucky number for the Festus varsity baseball team on Saturday. The Tigers opened the season with a 12-0 five-inning victory over Winfield. The team followed that with a 12-8 win over host Elsberry to come home with a 2-0 early season record.
In the first game against Winfield, the Tigers used two five-run innings to ice the game. Festus scored five in the second inning and five in the fifth, to add to single tallies in the first and fourth innings for the 12-0 final.
The Tigers collected seven hits and were helped by three Winfield errors and five walks. Cameron Beck (12) led the way with two hits and two RBI. Brennan Pryor (11) also drove in two runs and had one hit. Abe Kraus (12), Jake Leitner (11), Elijah Richeson (12), and Matt Rosen (11) each had one hit. Festus also stole four bases for the game.
Andrew Douglas (12) got the win on the mound as he went four innings allowing only two hits and striking out five. Leitner pitched the final inning and allowed a hit while striking out two.
“Douglas pitched well,” said head coach Jeff Montgomery. “He spotted pitches well and really kept hitters off balance.”
In the second game of the day, Festus jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning. Elsberry pulled to within 6-5 after four innings, but the Tigers scored six runs in the final two innings and held on for the 12-8 victory.
The bats really came alive as Festus banged out 13 hits. Beck, again, led the way offensively as he went three-for-three, scored four runs, doubled, drove in two runs, stole two bases, and reached base twice thanks to walks. Pryor had a big game as well as he went three-for-four, drove in two runs, doubled twice, walked, and stole a base.
Tyler Kaikonnen (12), Abe Kraus (12), Collin Mann (11), Cole Martin (11), Richeson, Rosen, and Tyler Rystrom (12) each had one hit. Mann drove home three runs, and Rosen had two RBI. Festus stole four more bases and were helped by nine Elsberry walks.
Kaikonnen started on the mound for the Tigers. He had mixed results. He didn’t allow a hit in three innings and struck out six. He did have some command issues as he issued five walks. Leitner pitched three innings in relief, and Cody Peters (11) hurled one relief inning. Tiger pitchers combined for ten walks.
“We held on to win the second game, and it took some coming together and grinding it out,” said Montgomery. “I saw some positive things out of our senior leadership. We hope we can continue to build on that.”
Festus will have an opportunity to do so tomorrow (Monday) with a contest at home against Owensville. First pitch at West City Park is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.