The Mark Twain baseball team survived location and time changes Friday afternoon during the first round of district baseball as the Tigers beat Monroe City 2-0.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Palmyra, but rain necessitated a new location and it was moved to Bowling Green. But, then it took longer to prepare the field and the game was pushed back to 5 p.m. However, by the time the seven inning contest was over, Mark Twain was moving on and Monroe City was going home.
“I thought it was good to get the game in,” Mark Twain coach Ben Strother said. “When you are psyching yourself up and setting up to play and not to get to, is a big letdown. It was still baseball and it was in Bowling Green, but we still got to play.”
Douglas Camden was on the mound for Mark Twain and he was a man on a mission, moving at a quick pace dealing from the start.
“We have worked on (his pace) a lot,” Strother said. “He has a lot of energy and has a job to do. He likes to attack and today he gave us seven full innings of steam.”
Strother was pleased with the way Camden pitched.
“He threw lights out for us,” Strother said. “Knock out. He just went up there and got it done. He has had the potential to do that every game. He has been going against everyone else’s best. This is only his second win, but he was definitely the one to throw the ball today. He stepped up and he was having fun. It was just Douglas’ day.”
Camden went the distance for the Tigers, picking up the win. Camden threw seven shutout innings while allowing just four base runners. He scattered up three hits, a walk and hit one batter. On the flip side, Camden struck out 10.
As for Mark Twain’s offense, the Tigers banged out nine hits and received one walk. Three Tigers hitters accounted for six of those hits, as they recorded multiple hits. Logan Epperson and Ethan Anderson were both 2-for-4 while Dylan Thomure was 2-for-3.
Both times Epperson reached base, he came around to score. Epperson finished the night with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Anderson had a double in the first inning, but it was his third inning single to drive in Epperson that was clutch. Thomure added an RBI single in the fifth to plate Epperson and give the Tigers an insurance run.
“(Epperson) scored both of our runs,” Strother said. “He really started both of our innings off right.”
Page 2 of 2 - Mark Twain’s three other hits came from Paxton Hill, Camden, and Corey Cornelius.
For Monroe City, Kyle Fulton took his second complete game shutout loss of the week. Fulton dropped a 1-0 decision on Monday, May 6. In that game he struck out 11. Friday, Fulton struck out 10 while allowing just one free pass.
Blake Rodgers, Terron Ritter, and Brad Wilson each had a hit for Monroe City. Tariq Garner walked and Scott Hoover was hit by a pitch. Rodgers also had a stolen base for the Panthers.
With the win, Mark Twain improves to 7-13 on the season and 1-0 in the postseason. The Tigers keep their season alive and move on to face Clarence Cannon Conference foe and top seeded Palmyra. The game will be played in Palmyra at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Today’s matchup will be the third time Palmyra and Mark Twain have met this season. Mark Twain lost the first meeting, a CCC game, 18-1. Then, during a non-conference game, Mark Twain lost again, 9-5.
“We are playing good baseball (right now),” Strother said. “We don’t have any doubt that it can’t be a good game for us (today). We tell the kids, don’t concern yourself with the other team. We know who (Palmyra is) and they are a great team, but you just have to worry about what you have to get done. It is districts, so be prepared.”
As for Monroe City, there will be no repeating as district champions. The Panthers’ season is over.