POTOSI – After squandering two quality scoring chances on Wednesday, the West County baseball team received a sudden lift from the bottom portion of its 11-person lineup.
Three consecutive two-out hits spurred a pivotal three-run rally in the fifth inning, and the Bulldogs edged Potosi 4-1 amid muggy conditions in exhibition high school action.
The contest was halted in the top of the sixth due to imminent threat of thunderstorms, but not before each player on the available home roster saw at least one plate appearance.
The Bulldogs topped a three-team, round-robin series that began Monday and also included Kingston, as each program was afforded an opportunity to host a Senior Night.
Cody Ruble capped the scoring with an RBI single, and Dakota Dowd reached base all three times for West County. Caden Merrill added an infield hit and crucial walk in two chances.
Lefty reliever J.D. Whitter struck out all six batters he faced over two perfect innings for the win in relief of future Mineral Area College player Luke Gaia.
Hunter Kincaid had an RBI single, and Cory Emily doubled for the Trojans. Gaia yielded three hits and fanned six in three innings against them.
Potosi starter Landon Bone picked up the save versus Kingston on Monday, and was one pitch away from punctuating a fifth scoreless frame against the Bulldogs.
But his lone walk to Merrill preceded a single by Kamden Walter, and Whitter squared the tally at 1-1 with a clutch single through the left side.
Grady Masters provided the decisive swing from the No. 10 spot on the card with a two-RBI double to right field, as coaches were permitted to utilize extra hitters at their discretion.
West County put two runners aboard in the second and fourth innings to no avail after Klayton Skiles and Gaia connected for respective leadoff singles.
Bone thwarted both threats by inducing double plays. He fielded the second such ground ball at the mound after Kincaid handled a chopper near first base to start the previous sequence.
Kincaid handed the Trojans a 1-0 lead in the third after Bone was grazed by a pitch with two outs and advanced two bases while stealing on a delivery to the backstop.
Blayne Nixon reached safely for a second time on an ensuing single, but Dowd zipped a strong throw from right field to cut down Kincaid at third.
Bulldogs first baseman Tyler Price sprinted after three separate foul balls during a single at-bat earlier in the inning, He eventually chased down a pop-up between the dugout and home plate to retire Ty Mills.
Potosi honored lone graduate Lewie McCaul shortly after a pre-game downpour threatened to cancel the game. The second baseman batted in the leadoff spot.
Bone compiled seven strikeouts and allowed seven hits before Malachi Sansegraw relieved in the sixth.
The same two schools battled on the adjacent softball diamond. The Lady Bulldogs scored four times in the seventh inning to beat Potosi 7-2.
West County will complete its summer baseball schedule at Arcadia Valley on Monday.
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