GARRETT — The bats woke up bright and early for the DeKalb-Garrett baseball doubleheader on Saturday.
The two teams combined to score 21 runs in the first game, ending in an 11-10 victory for the Barons. DeKalb (3-1) beat Garrett 11-0 in five innings in the second game.
DeKalb 11, Garrett 10
The Barons came out of the gates looking at what Garrett (1-2) starting pitcher Jarrett Bailey was bringing. Bailey sat the first two DeKalb hitters, then he looked to have a clean first inning but an error gave DeKalb a chance to get on the board early.
A single by Tyler Stahl put two runners on for Steele Jackson, who hit a laser over the left-field fence for an early 3-0 lead.
It took a couple of innings before the Railroaders answered back. In the second, Gage Smith drew a leadoff walk, then worked his way around the bases with a stolen base and advancing to third on a wild pitch. Graham Kelham laid down a bunt in no man’s land and was able to score Smith and reach first safely.
Garrett continued what it did against Lakewood Park early in the week with its patient approach at the plate and made DeKalb starting pitcher Stahl throw deep into counts. Stahl struggled to find the zone for long stretches. He did, however, tally up nine strikeouts in four innings off work with four walks.
Stahl had two outs in the first three hitters of the third inning, but Garrett’s Camden Harris doubled home Tristan Taylor, who led off the inning with a double. After a DeKalb error that brought home Harris, Blake Ratcliffe singled to right to score Kelham and Paxton Hefty for a 5-4 lead.
Garrett added two more in the bottom of the fourth after a two-run home run by Kobe Lucarelli to centerfield. He was 2-for-4 in the first game with the homer and a double.
DeKalb responded in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs. Nate Turnbull brought Jackson home after Jackson singled to start the fifth.
But the big inning for the Barons came in the sixth, and it was Jackson who helped give the visiting team back the lead. After an RBI-single by Stahl, Jackson stepped in the box with two runners on, and the sophomore sent another deep shot over the left-field fence for the 10-7 lead. Jackson finished the first game 3-for-4 with five RBIs.
DeKalb added one more run in the top of the seventh, which proved to be very important.
With Jackson on the mound in the bottom of the final frame, Garrett loaded up the bases and scored once off a single by Mateo Fuentes and once more after Lucarelli drew a walk.
Jackson already had two strikeouts in the inning, and Smith pushed the count to 3-1 before Jackson threw the final two pitches for strikes to end the drama and the game.
Jackson threw three innings of relief and struck out five Garrett hitters.
The Railroaders had three pitchers toe the rubber. Bailey went three and two-thirds with four strikeouts and a walk. Keegan Miller pitched an inning and two-thirds, and Kelham tossed the last inning and two-thirds.
Garrett threatened to score more than the 10 runs it did score in the game. Twice it left the bases loaded and totaled 10 runners left on base. For contrast, DeKalb left seven runners stranded.
Rhodes, Stahl and Nack all had two hits in the win for the Barons.
Taylor went 2-for-5, and Hefty and Ratcliffe each added two singles. Harris had two doubles.
DeKalb 11, Garrett 0
In the second game of the day, the Barons continued put the bat on the ball and got a solid pitching performance from sophomore Aric Ehmke.
The Barons spotted Ehmke five runs in the first inning. The first six hitters reached base safely, and a double by Ben Christiansen scored Rhodes from second for the first run of the game. Two DeKalb hitters were walked and two more were hit by pitches. Jackson scored on a 4-6-3 double play by Garrett for the fifth run of the inning.
Ehmke helped his own cause in the second inning with a three-run double, scoring Rhodes, Trey Novak and Stahl.
On the mound, Ehmke pounded the zone with strikes and waved 11 Garrett hitters in the second game. The Railroaders didn’t get their first hit until there was two outs in the fourth inning, a single by Miller. That was the lone hit for the home team. Ehmke had two walks and hit one Garrett batter for a total of four baserunners.
Christiansen and Rhodes both had two hits to lead the Barons.
Garrett 31, Lakewood Park 9
The Railroaders scored early and often in their season-opening 31-9 win over Lakewood Park last Tuesday.
Garrett was led at the plate by Taylor, who went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run and two doubles. Harris finished 2-for-3 with a homer and a single.
Lakewood Park was aggressive in the first inning with an attempt at a squeeze play that resulted in an out at the plate. On the next pitch with TJ Faur on first and Logan Bortner on third, Faur attempted to steal second, and Garrett went to pick off Faur, but the throw to second allowed Bortner to score easily from third.
Garrett answered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs with the use of the walk. Lakewood Park pitcher Blake Miller walked three Railroaders in the inning with the final one sending Bryce Wilson across the plate. A sacrifice fly sent to center field by Mateo Fuentes on the next pitch scored Taylor from third to take an early 2-1 lead.
In the second, the Railroaders added to its lead by being patient at the plate and taking advantage of a couple of errors by the Panthers. Garrett had eight hitters reach base safely before Lakewood Park recorded an out. A throwing error by Blake Miller scored two Garrett players and forced a change a pitcher for the Panthers. Grant Merkel came in relief, but also struggled to find the strike zone and only recorded on out before Chris Shively came in and got the last two outs.
Garrett continued to watch the ball fly into the glove out of the zone and scored 13 runs on three hits and seven walks in the inning.
However, the Panthers didn’t roll over and scored six runs in the top of the third. They loaded the bases with back-to-back singles from Merkel and Bortner and a walk from Faur. A couple of wild pitches and a passed ball allowed three runs to score.
Bailey started on the mound for Garrett and went two innings, giving up one run on a hit. Harris, Kelham, Kaleb Robertson and Miller also pitched in relief for the home team.