HANNIBAL — It was looking bleak for Hannibal going into the bottom of the sixth inning of Thursday’s home game against Mexico, with the Pirates being down two runs and only having one baserunner the previous three innings.
The Pirates finally broke through with a seven-run sixth inning and went on to defeat Mexico 8-3 at Hannibal Veterans Baseball Complex.
“I was pleased with the patience at the plate tonight and the effort mentally because we’ve had some stretches this year already were we started off slow offensively, but hit the ball hard,” said Hannibal head coach Ian Hatton. “That happened again tonight but our guys did a great job sticking with things mentally and being there for each other.”
For the second time in two games, the Pirates had a complete game from their starting pitcher.
Hannibal starting pitcher Aaris Stolte had two strikeouts, while allowing seven hits, one walk and three earned runs in his seven innings of work to earn the win.
“He was great tonight and even at times when he did run into trouble, he was able to make a big pitch to get us out of that,” Hatton said. “I’m really proud of that on how he put it together to be able to pitch out of some tough situations.”
Stolte also gave Hannibal the first lead of the game when he drove in Tanner VanWinkle in the second inning to put the Pirates ahead 1-0.
The Bulldogs tied the game up in the top of the third inning when Josh Forbis hit a RBI single to drive in Daeye Miller.
Mexico then scored two runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Bulldogs were aided by a double steal of second and third base from Tyler Thoenen and Landon Kleinsorge, which set up sacrifice RBIs from Miller and Ty Sims.
“(Mexico) does a good job of that,” Hatton said. “They are very aggressive on the bases, but again our guys made a play when we needed to.”
Hannibal catcher Keaton Scott got a one-out rally started with a single in the sixth inning. After VanWinkle struck out, the Pirates next two batters walked to load the bases for right fielder Braysen Douglas, who hit a two-RBI double to tie the game.
Mexico pulled starting pitcher Ty Prince after he walked Drake Dudley with the bases loaded to give Hannibal a 4-3 lead. Prince went 5.2 innings.
The change in pitchers to Mexico reliever Jack Wilburn did not slow Hannibal down. Chad Culp hit a two-RBI single, followed by another two-RBI single from Kane Wilson.
Culp went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base. Douglas went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a double.
First baseman Chance Lovett went 1-for-2 with a walk.Wilson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Hannibal (2-1) will play at Northeast Cairo (4-0) on Monday at 5 p.m. in the Pirates next game.
“We will come in tomorrow and get some work in and continue to improve at the plate,” Hatton said. “Obviously, keep the momentum rolling with our defense and pitching. Talk about a few things. It’s a holiday time, so we will get a couple of days off to kind of rest up.”