For almost 20 years their baseball team, the Fightin’ Irish, have made the trip to southern Illinois to get games in while their own field thaws out.
The Irish came to Metropolis Tuesday, March 25, and enjoyed some balmy 40-degree weather — with just a little wind — to do battle with the Massac County High School Patriots.
In a back-and-forth game, the Pats pushed across three runs in the bottom of the sixth to post a come-from-behind 7-5 win over the Irish.
Brady Austin and Jay Benard came through with big hits in the late inning rally after a base on balls to Ashton McDuffee and bunts by Tyler Jennings and Noah Farmer loaded the bags. Dalton Mitchell went the distance for the Pats, scattering nine hits and surviving a handful of errors to get the win.
Mother Nature took care of the scheduled March 27 Meridian game with a locally heavy downpour at Mound City after a half inning.
The Pats visited Junction next to tangle with Gallatin County on Friday.
This time Bryce McClellan was victimized by a series of errors in the fourth inning to drop a 5-4 decision to the Hawks. McClellan struck out seven in the first three innings before the roof caved in the fourth. A walk, a ball through the wickets at second, a dropped pop-up at third, an overthrow to second and a dropped foul ball all combined to allow the Hawks to push across four unearned runs.
Massac put on a big time rally in their last at bat to close to within one run, but came up just a little short. Jennings and Farmer once again got the rally started with singles. Mitchell flew out before Austin was plunked by a pitch. Benard singled in a pair of runs with the sacks jammed. Jacob Cox coaxed a walk, and McClellan hit a long sacrifice fly to plate the third run.
Massac’s hottest hitter, Ashton McDuffee, who had singled in his three previous at bats, was the Pats’ last best hope but a knee-buckling curve sent him back with his bat in hand, and the Pats down to their second loss of the season.
Marshall County was here Monday afternoon, and it was a variation on a theme.
The Marshals got a strong performance by pitcher Dylan Givens to take a 5-2 decision. Massac starter Mitchell led off the Patriots first with a triple to right center, but Givens bowed his back and struck out the side, stranding Mitchell. The Marshals got to Mitchell, whose left hand was stepped on in his head-first slide into third, for five runs before he was lifted in the fifth inning. McDuffee turned in another nice job, working out of a couple of jams in three innings of scoreless relief. Marshall County managed seven hits off Massac pitching while the Pats had only four safeties off Marshall pitching.
The Patriots’ record was 4-3 after the loss.