While the Mississinewa Indians have played excellent baseball as of late, they continue to struggle with slow starts at the beginning of games.
Their offense could not get anything going early on, and they were not executing as well as they had been over recent games.
“We came out very flat,” Mississinewa Head Coach Mike Scott said. “I was pretty disappointed in the way that we started the game. We didn’t have the approaches we needed at the plate, [and] we were flatfooted on defense.”
But with their back against the wall, Cade Campbell delivered, recording the clutch hit in the top of the seventh inning to give Mississinewa a 4-3 win over county rival Madison-Grant on Tuesday evening.
“The good thing is that the fact that our kids don’t give up,” Scott said. “We’ve seen that, but again, like we continue to talk to them about, we cannot continue to wait until the last two or three innings of a baseball game and think you are going to come back every time and win. That’s not going to always happen in this game. I don’t want us to start falling into that.”
Both Mississinewa’s Seth Maddox and Madison-Grant’s Nick Evans pitched well in the contest, but with the Indians struggling to score runs, the Argylls were able to take advantage, taking a 3-2 lead in the sixth frame.
But in the top of the seventh, the Indians finally found a little offense. With two outs and two men on, Campbell ripped the ball into left field, scoring two runs to give the Indians a lead they would not relinquish.
Madison-Grant put the winning run on base in the bottom of the frame, but Colin Yoder recorded the save, giving the Indians their fifth conference victory of the season.
“I thought it was one of the better games we’ve played all year long,” Madison-Grant Head Coach Scott Haley said. “We did not commit an error. Nick pitched well. We are still a little inconsistent on making contact on a regular basis…but overall I’m very pleased. The infield [practice] we took [before the game] was probably the best infield we took all year long. Kids were upbeat the whole game.”
Despite not pulling out the win, the Argylls continued an encouraging trend. Besides their lopsided defeats to Alexandria, one of the top ranked teams in the state, and Blackford, who has a stable of strong hitters, Madison-Grant had kept many of their conference games close. Considering they had not won a single conference game in the two years previous, it’s a testament to how much the Argylls have improved this season.
“I don’t think they realize the progress they’ve made and the steps they have made throughout the year,” Haley said. “I keep telling them that. ‘You guys have made huge strides.’ All of our conference games, with the exception of Blackford and Alexandria, every one of them have been one-run games or right down to the wire. I hope the kids are realizing that they have made a great deal of progress throughout the year.”