Eisenhower’s baseball team passed the first test Tuesday, but the Tigers won’t have much time to savor the doubleheader sweep.
Eisenhower used a seven-run eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and take the first game over Andover, 9-2. Then the Tigers (12-2) used some key first-pitch base hits for a 3-1 nightcap triumph.
Today, they will stay on the road with a showdown at Maize South with the AVCTL Division II lead hanging in the balance. Tigers coach Cary Dinkel said he’s looking forward to the twin bill, which was rescheduled from April 26.
A good part of his optimism is that he threw his No. 3 and No. 4 pitchers Tuesday – Nick Henning and Christian Garcia. This keeps his top two pitchers, Braden Minor and Kade Short, fresh to face the Mavericks today.
“I’ve got my ‘1’ and ‘2’ ready to roll,” he said. “Everybody asks, and I say I’ve got four ‘1s,’ because I have no problem running any one of my four guys out there and throwing it, because I know I’m going to get something good out of them.”
Eisenhower captured the first game by capitalizing on nine Andover errors – two of which came in the pivotal eighth inning.
Miner led off the eighth with a single, Dalton Dinkel was hit by a pitch, and both scored on Tanner Congleton’s double. One out later, Brett Huelsmann singled in Congleton, and Parker Jones was safe on an error, knocking out Andover starter Alex Elder. Reliever Cooper Dreifort gave up a double to freshman Wade Reynolds and a single to Tanner Orand. The Tigers’ final two runs came via double steals.
In the second game, Tyler Rudisill led off the Trojans first with a triple to center field and scored on Jack Maki’s single. But that would be all Andover would muster off Garcia, who scattered five hits the rest of the way.
“He’s not going to ‘wow’ you,” Cary Dinkel said of Garcia, “but what is going to do is get a lot of weak ground balls because you can’t square him up very well.”
Dinkel acknowledged that the Tigers were looking for Maki’s first pitch in the second game after feeling out the Trojans’ pitching in the opener.
“We knew we needed to work more ahead and be a little more aggressive at the plate (in the nightcap),” he said. “In the second game, we’ll usually get after it. They swing it real well, and they’re good at first-pitch fastballs. We knew (Maki’s) off-speed was really good, so we wanted to stay away from hitting with two strikes.”
Elder had held Eisenhower to three hits and the two runs entering the eighth inning.
Andover coach Chris Weidert said now the focus turns to Thursday, when Andover plays at rival Andover Central. Monday, the Trojans face league-leading Maize South.
“It is a gauntlet,” he said. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way at the end of the season when you’re playing your best ball.”
Eisenhower 9, Andover 2
|Eisenhower||011||000||07||—||9 8 1|
|Andover||010||010||00||—||2 4 9|
Eisenhower 3, Andover 1
|Eisenhower||011||000||1||—||3 7 0|
|Andover||100||000||0||—||1 7 1|