Central Lee-Collier

Clay Collier slides safely into second base on this play during last week's win over Central Lee. Collier led the offense with four hits. (Photo by Ed Petefish.)

The Mustang baseball team started Class 2A District tournament play with an exciting extra inning game against Central Lee. The Mustangs won the game 5-4 in nine innings to start the 2021 post season. The game was supposed to be played at the West Sports Complex, but wet field conditions forced the game to be moved to Pekin High School on July 12. Davis County won the game 5-4.

The game ended in a bit of controversy as Central Lee’s coach agued sacrifice fly ball that allowed Davis County to score its winning run in the bottom half of the ninth inning.

With the score tied at 4-4, Clay Collier started off the top of the ninth with a single to left center. He stole second and later moved to third on a passed ball.

Dawson Townsend was next at the plate and he worked the count to 2-2 before finding a pitch he liked. Townsend pulled the trigger on a fast ball and sent it sailing through the air to center field. Central Lee’s Kade Myhre caught the ball, the ball popped out of his glove and Myhre was able to secure the ball with his throwing hand before it hit the ground.

Collier was standing on third base at the time the ball was hit. After Myhre secured the ball for a catch, he took off for home plate and scored the winning run easily. Central Lee’s coach came out to argue the call and whether or not Collier tagged up on the play. In the end, Collier’s score was allowed to stand and the Mustangs won the game 5-4 as they secured the first win of the post season.

The victory helped the Mustangs avenge a 10-0 loss to Central lee on June 15. The Mustangs took the lead early in this game and later had to come from behind to tie the game at 4-4 just to send the game into extra innings.

Collier scored the game’s first run in the bottom half of the first inning. He led off Davis County’s half of the inning with a double to center. He sparked a night that saw Collier finish four of five from the plate with a double and three singles.

Collier wasn’t on the bases long as Townsend singled to left. Collier raced around third and managed to score easily on the play.

Caedyn Glosser singled to right to start the second inning, but later fell victim to a double play as Central Lee got out of the inning without the Mustangs scoring.

Defensively the Mustangs played a solid game behind pitcher Noah Zmolek in the first three innings. Zmolek struck out the first two batters he faced. The Mustangs retired the first six Central Lee batters in order.

A Mustang error allowed a Central Lee base runner to start the third inning. A nice double play sparked by Glosser corrected that mistake and kept the Hawks from scoring again. Through two and a half innings, Davis County led 2-1.

In the bottom of the third inning, Nolan Cremer walked to get the inning started. Collier singled up the middle and the Mustangs had two on with no outs. A bunt from Townsend moved the boys into scoring position. Carson Maeder hit into a fielder’s choice situation with his ball hit to shortstop. Cremer was thrown out at the plate. Reeves kept the rally going with a single to left. Collier scored on the play and Davis County’s lead jumped to 2-0.

Davis County’s 2-0 lead didn’t last long. Central Lee bounced back with a rally in the top of the fourth that erased that lead and tied the game at 2-2. A pair of walks issued to Myhre and Dylan Stuecker put runners on base. Alex Sandoval doubled to left center and just like that the game was tied.

Central Lee scored in the fourth off an RBI double from Stuecker. The Hawks went up 4-2 in the top of the sixth when a leadoff walk and a series of wild pitches allowed that base runner to score.

The Mustangs cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Glosser secured a one-out walk. After stealing second, Glosser took third on an error. He later scored on a suicide squeeze play when Gavin McCall laid down a nice bunt to get Glosser home.

Central Lee carried its lead into the bottom of the seventh inning and forced Davis County to score or risk losing the game.

Collier stepped up with the third of his four hits in this game. That started off the seventh inning rally. After stealing both second and third base. Collier scored on an RBI single from Townsend to tie the game at 4-4 and send it into extra innings.

The Mustang defense shut down the Central Lee offense in the eighth and ninth innings behind relief pitcher Carson Maeder. Maeder struck out four of those six batters and picked up the win as Davis County secured the walk-off victory.  

The win propelled the Mustangs into the Class 2A District Championship game against Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont.

Score                           R H E

CL    000    211    000    4 2 2

DC   101    001    101    5 9 2

Pitching—Maeder, W, 4 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 7 strikeouts and 2 walks. Zmolek, 5 innings, 3 runs, 2 hits, 8 strikeouts and 6 walks.

Hits—Collier, 4; Townsend, 3; Glosser, 1 and Reeves, 1.

RBI—Townsend, 3; Reeves, 1 and McCall, 1.