It’s early in the season, but the Poynette Indian baseball team is starting to show it will be a force in the Home Talent Eastern Section.
The Indians took a big step toward proving it’s one of the top teams in section after sweeping 2018 Eastern Section regular-season champion Montello in a doubleheader last Sunday.
Bolstered by great pitching performance by Anthony Mabrey, Poynette slipped past Montello 5-3 in the first game.
In the second game, the Indians overcame a nine-run first inning by Montello to win 15-11.
The Indians are now 4-1 in the Eastern Section.
On May 30, Poynette moved to 1-2 in Night League play with a 14-11 victory over host Columbus.
The Indians will be at home tonight and on Sunday. They will host Montello in Night League play at 7 p.m. tonight and will entertain Rio in an Eastern Section tilt at noon on Sunday.
The Indians fell behind 7-2 after four innings and didn’t have a hit until the fifth, but still found a way to win. They had just four hits in the game.
Poynette scored runs in the third and fourth innings without garnering a hit.
The Indians finally broke through in the top of the fifth with a four-run rally.
Poynette took its first lead, 9-7, after plating three runs in the top of the sixth. Mabrey led off with a home run, while Cody Matush hit an RBI single and scored on an error.
Despite not recording a hit, the Indians scored five more runs in the top of the seventh. They were aided by seven walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch.
Columbus tried to rally, but came up with just four runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Ryan Hutchinson, Kyle Bestul, Mabrey and Alex O’Connor all pitched for Poynette. Mabrey earned the win in relief.
Mabrey struck out six and walked four in eight innings to lead Poynette to the win in the first game of the doubleheader. Jalen Knuteson, who had a strikeout and two walks, earned the save in one innings of relief.
The Indians broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Matush highlighted the frame with a two-run double, while Hutchinson added a run-scoring single.
Holding a slim 3-2 lead, Poynette plated two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Hutchinson and O’Connor each drove in a run.
Kory Ryan and Aaron Krigbaum led Poynette with two hits apiece.
The Indians had 19 hits in the comeback win over Montello, which had 17 hits.
Krigbaum went 4-for-6 to pace Poynette at the plate. Ryan finished with three hits, while Knuteson, Mabrey, Davy Tomlinson, Matush and Dylan Tomlinson chipped in two each.
Poynette scored two runs in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Davy Tomlinson and run-scoring grounder by Ryan, but Montello scored nine runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Dylan Tomlinson and Knuteson both had run-scoring singles in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 9-4.
Trailing 10-4, the Indians started their comeback with a six-run outburst in the top of the seventh inning. Krigbaum and Knuteson both had two-run singles, while Steve Leiterman and Matush drove in one each.
Poynette took the lead, 11-10, when Ryan scored on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth.
The Indians closed out their scoring with four runs in the top of the ninth. Dylan Tomlinson led off the frame with a home run, while Krigbaum added a three-run home run later in the inning.
O’Connor pitched the first six innings for Poynette, but Bestul got the win after three innings of relief.