BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP PCC SPORTS MOUNT PLEASANT — There was a moment early in Friday’s Class 3A district semifinal game when Fort Madison High School had a chance to take control of the game.
But that moment went away quickly.
Mount Pleasant got out of some early trouble caused by the Bloodhounds, then strung together back-to-back four-run innings in a 9-2 win over the Bloodhounds.
The Panthers (15-6) play Davenport Assumption in Monday’s 7 p.m. district final.
The Bloodhounds had a 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Jace Burgher led off with a walk. Garrett Hannum’s sacrifice bunt moved Burgher to second with the top of the Fort Madison batting order coming up. But Mount Pleasant pitcher Nik Coble got Landes Williams and Jason Thurman on ground outs to end the inning, leaving Burgher stranded at third base.
“We get the bunt with nobody out, we were trying to get a two-for-one there, trying to bunt for a base hit,” Fort Madison coach Ron Walker said.
“We just couldn’t get that run.”
The Panthers then took control in the bottom of the third.
A throwing error brought in Mount Pleasant’s first run, then Coble hit a line-drive three-run home run to right field.
In the fourth inning, Mount Pleasant got one run on a fielder’s choice when Jack Johnson beat a throw home. Rylan Seberg’s double scored Chase Williams, then Clayton Lowery followed with a two-run homer for an 8-2 lead.
The Bloodhounds committed four errors.
“We got a little complacent, a little lackadaisical on defense,” Walker said.
Fort Madison got all of its runs in the first inning when Jason Thurman and Vasin Thurman scored on errors. But the Bloodhounds wouldn’t threaten again until the seventh inning, when they loaded the bases with one out but couldn’t score.
“We were finding holes in the first couple of innings,” Walker said. “And then we started hitting balls right at people. It’s just a game of inches sometimes.”
Fort Madison finished with an 11-7 record.
“This isn’t the outcome we wanted,” Walker said. “We’ve played better baseball than we showed tonight. We played a full season last year, a half-season this year, and I told them nobody gave them a chance to win 27 games in a year and a half. And we did that. We’re going to learn from this, and stay hungry.”