Both of Tuesday's Legion baseball games between El Dorado and Augusta were closely contested, and they came down to which team took better advantage of opportunities.
In game 1, that was El Dorado. Kaden Fowler hit a double in the opening inning, then reached third on an error during the play. That set up Cade Morrow, who drove him in for a quick 1-0 lead. Fowler hit a two-out RBI triple in the third, then scored after a passed ball to give El Dorado a 3-0 lead. El Dorado went on to win 4-2.
In game 2, the Orioles took advantage of their opportunities as they also got a 4-2 win to earn the split.
In the opener, Cody Wesbrooks pitched well for the Orioles by mixing in some nice curve balls to go with his on-target fast stuff, but El Dorado made the most of its three hits and three walks. Tyler Michaelis drew a walk in the top of the third before scoring on Fowler's triple. Trevor Burnett and Spencer Dodson also drew walks for El Dorado.
Wesbrooks finished with eight strikeouts and allowed three runs in his five innings. Cody's brother Clay Wesbrooks came in to relieve him the final two innings. Clay had two strikeouts and allowed two hits, one of which was a two-out RBI single in the seventh that allowed El Dorado to push its lead to 4-2. The Orioles went down in order to end the game.
El Dorado's Colton Allemand had a strong outing in a winning performance on the mound. He threw seven strikeouts and allowed just three hits and one walk through five innings.
It was in the sixth inning when the Orioles made the game interesting again. Cole Howerton hit a double, then Collin Eldringhoff drew a walk. Garrett Tipton then drove in a run after an error at second base by El Dorado to get Augusta on scoreboard. Dalton Eberhardt singled, and El Dorado made a throwing error to allow another run as the Orioles cut it to 3-2 before El Dorado sealed the win in the seventh.
In game 2, El Dorado made costly errors, and the Orioles took advantage. With the game tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, Augusta scored three runs without even recording a hit. Easton Brown and Trace Blakesley drew walks while Ryan Rogers reached on an error to load the bases. Rogers hit a bunt down the third-base line and El Dorado could not field it.
After a pitching change, Blake Bevan drove in a run after an El Dorado error in left field to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. El Dorado made a sweet relay that turned into a 9-2 double play to prevent a sacrifice fly from scoring another run. But El Dorado made another error in left field that allowed two more runs to score.
El Dorado had a glimmer of a chance in the top of the seventh, but after scoring one run, Clay again closed out the ball game with three strikeouts to seal the 4-2 win for the Orioles.
Howerton was shaky on the mound at times for the Orioles, but he was able to minimize the damage. He allowed three walks and hit two batters, but he only gave up one hit threw five innings. He had one strikeout.
That one hit was a lead-off triple by Fowler in the fourth inning, which gave him a triple in both games. Fowler scored to give El Dorado a 1-0 lead. Augusta came right back in the bottom of the inning to tie it 1-1. Seth McGuire hit a single, then stole second base to get into scoring position. Blakesley drove him in with an RBI single. The Orioles loaded the bases after an El Dorado error, but they hit into a groundout before they could score more.
-Augusta's Legion team will host the Zone tournament July 15 through 17 at Rodney Wheeler Stadium. Other teams competing in the tournament are Ark City, Winfield and Andover Central.