sports 3 days ago

Macon baseball tops Highland with offensive explosion in late innings

Kirksville Daily Express — Matthew Asher Kirksville Daily Express, Mo.

April 21--MACON -- With a one-run lead in the top of the fourth inning, two outs and runners at the corners, Macon's Meade Fry knew he had to get the next Highland batter out so his team would still have the lead.

And after 11 total pitches and eight foul balls, Fry just wanted to get out of the inning.

Fry was successful in getting the out and his offense rewarded him with five additional runs in the game, allowing Macon (9-4) to cruise to a 7-1 win over Highland (5-6).

It was pitch No. 12 when Fry threw a high fastball out of the strike zone and Highland's Cole Schutte took a tomahawk swing and missed, ending the top of the fourth.

"I knew I just had to keep my mind straight," Fry said of the tough at-bat. "I wanted to pitch to contact because I know I have a good defense behind me. I trust them if I put it over the plate, they'll do what they do."

With all the foul tips, Fry decided he was just going to make him chase one out of the strike zone.

"We were trying to get him just to put something soft in to play," he said. "It worked out he missed it."

Avoiding danger, Macon's offense then took charge as Cruz Lewis, Eric Moore and Ryan Petre all drove in runs for the Tigers in the fourth inning to give Macon a 5-1 lead.

"We just continued to take a good approach into our hitting," Macon coach Kyle Robuck said of his offense finally clicking. "We had some good hits in the first few innings. They just went right to the defense. We finally started to find some holes at the end."

After shutting down the Cougars in the fifth, Fry and Shane Levett scored to put the game out of reach. As to why the offense was stagnant the first few innings and suddenly exploded, Fry couldn't offer an explanation.

"We've been kind of that way since I've been in high school," he said. "The team just gets offense out of nowhere but we always find a way to win and we fight hard to keep (the lead)."

Fry pitched six innings. On 101 pitches, he struck out eight and walked four.

"It's good to see him back," Robuck said of Fry. "He's been dealing with the injury bug and hasn't pitched for us for a few games. He did a great job commanding his fastball and curveball. He walked a few more guys than normal, but that's just rust. Overall, a good performance by him."

In the seventh inning, Robuck handed the ball to Nash Waller, who needed just 11 pitches to put away all three batters and record the save for the Tigers.

Macon will hit the road on Monday as it faces South Shelby at 5 p.m.

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