The Poynette prep baseball team picked up its first win of the season on April 18. The Pumas knocked off visiting Westfield 9-7.
“It feels good to get this win under our belt,” Poynette coach Alex O’Connor said. “Although we had a couple of mistakes defensively, it was an all-around better effort on that side of the ball compared to the last few games.”
The win snapped the Pumas’ five-game losing streak to open the season.
“Offensively, I thought we had a few too many strikeouts early, but then got better at putting the ball in play as the game went on,” O’Connor said.
Westfield had momentum early. They led 3-0 after three innings of play.
Poynette finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Pumas exploded for six runs.
“The momentum swing in the fourth inning was the difference in this game,” O’Connor said.
Austin Gray highlighted the fourth with a three-run double. Parker Walstad and Kevin Gorman each drove in one run.
Buster Paust had a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to put the Pumas up 8-3.
Poynette added a run in the sixth on a throwing error.
Westfield tried to rally in the seventh, but came up just short after scoring four runs.
Gray had two hits lead the Pumas at the plate.
Noah Stark and Mason Kilen both pitched for Poynette. They combined for nine strikeouts and 10 walks.
Before picking up their first win, the Pumas fell to 0-3 in the Capitol North Conference after losing 11-0 to visiting Columbus on April 16.
“Walks and errors really hurt us,” O’Connor said. “It’s tough to stay in games when you give the other team free bases, so that is something we will need to cleanup moving forward. Offensively, we were able to get guys on base, but just couldn’t get big hits to drive them in.”
Both teams finished with seven hits, but Columbus took advantage of five Puma errors and 10 walks.
The Cardinals opened with three in the top of the first inning.
Already leading 6-0, Columbus put the game away with four runs in the top of the fourth. They added a run in the fifth.
Stark led the Pumas with two hits.
Gorman, Stark and Kilen combined for 10 walks and four strikeouts on the mound.