LINDSAY — Muenster finally got its turn.
After falling to Lindsay in the Kraut Bowl in football and for the district championship basketball earlier this school year, the Hornet baseball team got its revenge in the form of a 14-1 run-ruled win over the Knights in a District 15-1A contest.
“It’s obviously a big rivalry around here,” Muenster coach Donny Knightstep said. “Add to it Lindsay is a really good baseball team. It’s a big win for us.”
In what looked like would be another pitching duel for Muenster (8-4, 3-0 in district play), the Hornets let the flood gates open thanks to timely hitting and a few miscues from the Knights.
Muenster struck for four runs in the fourth inning and another 10 in the fifth inning as the Hornets would invoke the 10 run after five inning mercy rule. The first four batters scored for the Hornets in the fourth and the first 10 batters in the fifth would also score.
“I think the kids just made an adjustment,” Knightstep said. “And when they did, they made a good one. That’s about all it took.”
Andy Flusche, who hit what turned out to be the game winning home run against Ector on Tuesday, went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. The senior catcher was the 10th batter in a row to reach base in the top of the fifth inning when he hit a two-run single to left field.
Flusche began the fifth inning with a single and a stolen base before eventually coming around on a Trevor Cheaney triple into the right-centerfield gap. Cheaney would later score on an errant throw by Lindsay.
The Knights had seven errors in the game — all of which came in the top of the fourth and fifth innings.
Blayne Styles picked up the win for the Hornets, going 5 innings while striking out seven batters, walking three and allowing one earned run. The right-hander struck out the final six batters of the game.
“It wasn’t Blayne’s greatest outing - he struggled a bit with his control,” Knightstep said. “But it’s a good deal when you can not have your best stuff and still keep us in the ballgame. He gutted it out and got us what we needed.”
Styles ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the first inning after Zach Mlinar reached on an error and Dylan Hughes followed with a double to put runners on second and third base. Trevor DeBord followed with an RBI single to plate Mlinar before a double play on a ground ball to Hornet first baseman Cole Walterscheid turned into a double play to end the inning.
DeBord finished 1 for 2 with and RBI for the Knights. Mlinar was 0 for 2 with a run scored and Hughes was 1 for 2 with his double as Lindsay was limited to only two hits.
Despite the offensive struggle, the Knights would threaten again in\ the bottom of the third inning when Styles walked the first three batters in the inning — though at pickoff would erase one runner. The sudden drop in command prompted a visit to the mound from Knightstep.
“I was just trying to see if he was all right,” Knightstep said. “Make sure his arm was OK.”
Styles would get Hughes to pop out to shortstop Trevor Hess and DeBord to hit into a fielders choice on ground ball to second baseman Mason Binder — who was 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs at the plate.
Tanner Kuhn took the loss for Lindsay, allowing five earned runs over 4 innings pitched while striking out six batters. The left-handed hurler was cruising along before errors on three consecutive at bats allowed the Hornets to load the bases to start the fourth inning.
The win was a big one not only for the early district bragging rights, but it also helped the Hornets put their stamp on league play.
“It was a good win for our guys,” Knightstep said. “This is the type of game that will give you confidence. Lindsay has a really good team. This win was big.”
Muenster 000 4(10) — 14 9 3
Lindsay 100 00 — 1 2 7
WP — Blayne Styles (5 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks)
LP — Tanner Kuhn (4 IP, 5 ER, 6 Ks)
Leaders — Muenster, Andy Flusche 2-4, 2 RBIs; Mason Binder 3-3, 2 RBIs; Trevor Cheaney 1-3, 3B, RBI; Austin Hennigan 2-2, SB, R.