El Dorado baseball picks up second straight sweep with wins over Winfield
The El Dorado Wildcat baseball team had a rough start to the 2021 season but recently has begun to turn things around. That was evident with two wins over Winfield at McDonald Stadium on Thursday. El Dorado had to find different ways to win each game.
Game 1: El Dorado 14, Winfield 4 (5 inn.)
The Vikings threatened against Wildcat starting pitcher Caleb Winter in the top of the first by loading the bases with two outs. But Winter stood firm and struck out Trevor Shelton on three pitches to end the inning.
El Dorado (5-7) would then get a bunt single from Gannon White who would later score when Jett Roberts singled in the infield to third base. The throw to first got away and White came down the line to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
The bats then warmed up in the bottom of the second. To start it off, Jalen Rice grounded to third, but the throw to first was wild again. Rice advanced to third only to be tripped by the third baseman while rounding the bag. Obstruction was called and El Dorado led 2-0.
The Wildcats followed that by getting RBIs from Jaydon Sundgren, White and Trip Baker to take a 5-0 lead after two.
Winfield (0-14) would get on the board thanks in part to a hit batter, error and base hit. The Vikings got two to trim the deficit but it would soon expand and then some.
In the bottom of the third, Gavin Bell grounded to short and the throw skipped low and past first base. Two runs scored to restore the five-run lead. Four batters later, the bases were loaded for White who lined a ball sharply over the head of the left fielder. White hustled to third for a bases-clearing triple and it was 10-2. He finished with four RBI.
Baker singled home a run, forcing the Vikings to make a pitching change. Two more runs would come home to complete an eight-run frame for El Dorado.
“We really had a very good approach,” El Dorado head coach Adam McCormick said. “We swung it well; we were very locked in at the plate. We’ve played aggressive all year and when the (opponent) makes mistakes, we try to take as much of an advantage of that as possible.”
Each side scored a single run in the fourth and the Vikings got one in the fifth but it was not enough to evade the ten-run mercy rule.
Game 2: El Dorado 4, Winfield 0
As good as the bats were in the first game, it took awhile for the Wildcats to find anything in the second game.
Drew Veatch led off the bottom of the first with a double but was thrown out trying to steal third base. Veatch’s double would be the only hit for El Dorado through five innings as Viking starter Andru Owens kept the Wildcats off balance.
Meanwhile, Winfield was stymied equally by El Dorado starter Dravin Fowler. He only surrendered one hit through six innings and the game was deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Adam Cavallaro led off with a walk and Winfield removed Owens for Eli Heger. Sundgren came up and promptly walked on four pitches. The runners stole second and third base to set the stage for Veatch. He grounded to third, and the low throw scooted into foul territory and both runners came in to score to break the ice.
Later in the frame, Baker doubled in a run and Fowler walked with the bases loaded to make it 4-0 heading to the seventh.
Winfield would threaten after an error and a base hit. With two outs, there were runners at second and third but Fowler finished off the Vikings with a strikeout to record the complete game shutout. He struck out six and did not walk a batter while only throwing 64 pitches.
“Dravin pitched his tail off,” McCormick said. “He threw absolutely phenomenal for us and found ways to control their run game.”
El Dorado (5-7, 4-4 AVCTL III) has won five of six after starting the season 0-6. Winfield dropped to 0-14 and 0-8 in league play.
McCormick knows it’s a good time to be playing better.
“We’re gaining that confidence and playing with swagger,” McCormick said. “If you don’t play with confidence you don’t play the game very well. We’re understanding how to do things right.”
El Dorado 14, Winfield 4
WIN;002 11– 4;7;5
W – Winter. L – Bryant.
El Dorado 4, Winfield 0
WIN;000 000 0 – 0 2 1
ELD;000 004 X – 4 2 1
W – Fowler. L – Owens.