Five-run fifth propels Mustangs

Garl Norman throws a baseball in from the outfield during South Central Conference action for the Davis County Mustangs at the diamond just south of the Davis County Fairgrounds in Bloomfield.

BLOOMFIELD — The weather was not kind early to the Davis County baseball team.

Multiple games and multiple practices on the diamond outside the Davis County Fairgrounds were washed away by late-May rain. The Mustangs, however, are looking to turn lemons into lemonade when it comes to the weather-related adjustments made to their 2019 schedule starting with a 13-4 win on Tuesday over Cardinal that snapped a three-game losing streak.

Davis County (12-8) has a chance to pick up multiple wins before opening the postseason in two weeks against either Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont or Albia. The Mustangs host a South Central Conference doubleheader with Chariton tonight, games originally rained out earlier this year, with trips to Fairfield on Friday and Twin Cedars next Tuesday along with a home date against Burlington-Notre Dame still on the regular-season docket for head coach Todd White.

"We need to play. We've got some things we need to keep working on," White said. "We need to see live pitching. We need make plays. We definitely need some more games."

Davis County came out swinging on Tuesday, collecting three hits off Cardinal starting pitcher Landon Becker to push the first of three runs across in the opening inning. Owen Bennett, Trevor Slayton and Draven Dekraai all singled and scored in the opening frame to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead.

"It was a good team win for us. We haven't been executing as of late, so we needed a game like this," White said. "We had a good night swinging the bats. The kids are seeing the ball pretty good and plenty of hitters were squaring the ball up pretty well."

Jarret Rea's lead-off double kicked off a three-run rally by the Comets in the second. Dawson Lewis and Griffin Greiner added run-scoring singles ahead of a game-tying sacrifice fly by Colby Aschenbrenner to level the score at 3-3.

"Davis County hit the ball really well and got the hits when they needed them, but we gave ourselves chances to score as well," Cardinal head baseball coach Rick Scott said. "After being shutout by Van Buren (Monday) night, I thought the kids came right back and played a lot harder in this game. We still have work to do. We're going to keep on grinding."

Davis County took the lead for good in the bottom of the second on a two-out error that allowed Bennett and Garl Norman to score. Dekraai and Slayton both collected three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored apiece for the Mustangs.

Cardinal (12-7) hosts Central Lee in an important Southeast Iowa Superconference south division contest tonight. The Hawks are seeking to clinch the outright SEISC south title with a victory over the Comets.

"We're going to come to play and the guys know that," Scott said. "We've got to eliminate spotting teams runs. We have to attack the ball and not let the ball play us. I knew this would be a tough week playing some tough 2A schools, but we want to play them and we want to compete with them."