BY ETHAN LILLARD
MEDIAPOLIS- Since the 2014-2015 season when Fort Madison and Mediapolis starting playing on a seasonal basis, the Bulldogs have got the best of the Bloodhounds, winning all six contest.
That half decade winless drought came to an end Wednesday at Mediapolis, as Fort Madison posted two five-run innings to win 13-3.
“It shows the kids played hard,” Fort Madison Head Coach Ron Walker said. “We talked about staying (even keel). If you win 13-3 or you lose 10-2 and 8-3 and get swept, we can’t allow ourselves to get too low or high. I think today we did a great job of not getting too low after Monday’s losses and coming back tonight and competing hard.”
Jace Burgher drew the start for Fort Madison Wednesday, despite having just a total of three innings pitched coming into the contest. Berger delivered going five strong and allowing just seven hits for three earned runs.
While Burger had things rolling from the mound, Mediapolis starter Drayven Fenton struggled.
Fenton started by issuing two straight walks before plunking Jordyn Gerdes to load the bases for Dayne Cordray.
Cordray answered with a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the first run of the game before Mediaplois put an end to the threat with a double play.
A single and a double tied the game at one in the bottom of the first before Fort Madison got to Fenton again.
The top of the second started with a walk, this time to Reed Fehseke. Fehseke advanced all the way to third on past balls during Tate Johnson’s at bat, before finishing the round trip by stealing home during Kane Williams at bat for the 2-1 lead.
Williams walked and moved all the way to third base on wild pitches himself before Burgher also drew a walk.
Williams came in to score on another wild pitch during Landes Williams’ at bat, which resulted in a base on balls, putting runners on the corners with Burgher now at third.
Burgher came around to score on a wild pitch before Mediapolis pulled Fenton in favor of reliever Max Drebenstedt.
Things continued to spiral for Mediapolis, as Thurman hit a grounder that was misplayed by the Bulldog shortstop. Gerdes then singled to center to score Landes Williams for the 5-1 lead and moved Thurman to third base. Dayne Cordray was plunked to load the bases for Fort Madison. A pop out was followed by a Fehseke walk, as Thurman came in to score and increase the Hounds’ lead to 6-1.
Mediapolis responded to the five-run inning with two runs in the bottom half of the second, but still trailed the Bloodhounds 6-3.
The pitching woes continued for Mediapolis in the top of the third inning, as Fort Madison started off with a hit by pitch. A sacrifice bunt was followed by an RBI single from Landes Williams, increasing the lead to 7-3, before another wild pitch allowed Williams to eventually come around and score for an 8-3 lead.
Both teams went scoreless the rest of the way until Fort Madison batted around in the top of the seventh inning. A single and two walks loaded the bases for the Hounds before Cordray was hit again to bring home Landes Williams. Vasin Thurman then singled to plate Jason Thurman.
Fehseke kept his strong day rolling, with a double to score Gerdes and Cordray for a 12-3 lead. Tate Johnson followed with a single to score Vasin Thurman for the 13-3 lead, before the Bulldogs get get a double play to end the inning.
Landes Williams held the Bulldogs to a three-up, three-down bottom of the seventh to shut the door and give Fort Madison the 13-3 win.
“I thought it was huge the guys stayed involved and kept making plays tonight,” Walker said. “The pitchers kept pounding the zone once we got a lead. The lineup kept rolling in the seventh and we put together some good at bats.”
Fehseke led the Bloodhounds with three RBIs. Gerdes and Landes Williams each had two RBIs. Burgher picked up the win, tossing 76 pitches over five innings.
Fort Madison’s next game is on the road on Monday against Keokuk for a double header.