Burnett pitching keeps Bulldogs at bay despite loss
Taylor Burnett's first pitching performance in two weeks wasn't pretty -- but it was effective enough to keep De Soto in its June 10 game against the Bulldogs on Field 1 at the Johnson County 3 and 2 baseball complex.
Rainouts caused the postponement of several Wildcat contests during the last couple of weeks. Before Thursday's 10-2 loss, De Soto hadn't played since an 8-6 loss to the Shawnee Mission West Vikings, which dropped the local team's record to 1-2.
Although Burnett wasn't as consistent as the rain, he managed to keep his head above water.
Despite several of his pitches finding their way behind Bulldog batters' backs, Burnett trailed only 3-2 after the completion of the third inning. It seemed every time he got a little wild, Burnett came back with the pitch he needed.
He faced nine batters in the first two innings and gave up only one unearned run during the same time span.
Bode Manly started a Bulldog rally in the bottom of the second inning when he bounced a one-out, high-hop single between the pitcher's mound and third base.
Burnett put himself in position to get out of the inning with a goose egg on the Bulldog side of the scoreboard when he struck out Bulldog second baseman Barry Birkmeyer on six pitches. But a Wildcat error on an errant throw from third to first, following Brenton Adams' grounder, allowed Manly to come home, knotting the score at 1-1.
Burnett's attempt at getting De Soto's second win of the year came to an end in the bottom of the third frame when he faced six batters and gave up two earned runs, losing the lead for the first time -- and for good.
Dusty Dow led off the inning with a single that found its way into left field. Dow then stole second base.
Burnett got Matt Page to ground out to second in the second at-bat in the inning for the Bulldogs, but Dow found his way to third on the play.
De Soto's pitching ace then looked as if he might get out of another jam when he struck out Kyle Toothman looking for the second out in the inning. Burnett then hit Matthew Lange, his second hit batsmen of the game, putting runners on the corners.
Michael Wright was credited with an RBI when he ripped a single up the middle, scoring Dow and giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage.
The advantage was stretched to two runs when Lange scored from third during a Wildcat attempt to catch Wright stealing second.
The floodgates opened on the Wildcats in the bottom of the fourth inning when Burnett was replaced on the mound by relief pitcher Colby Childers.
The De Soto junior-to-be gave up four hits and three earned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning as the Bulldogs began to pull away 6-2.
The opposition then scored three runs in the fifth inning and added another score in the sixth inning, taking a 10-2 advantage into the top of the seventh.
The Wildcats went down 1-2-3 in the seventh, giving the Bulldogs the win.
De Soto scored first in the contest when Tyler Farmer was hit by a pitch, leading off the second frame. He then stole second and third to put himself in position for the first run of the game.
Farmer scored when Aaron Hanson ripped a single up the middle to give De Soto its only lead of the game at 1-0.
Burnett put the Wildcats back in the game in the top of the fourth inning when he reached first base safely following Bulldog starting pitcher Sean Drumwright's drop of a high pop fly.
Dustin Grimes then registered an RBI when he sent a Drumwright 1-0 pitch to left field for a base hit and scored Burnett, narrowing the gap to 3-2.
The Wildcats sent three pitchers to the mound on the night.
Burnett threw 65 pitches in his three-inning performance with 38 going for strikes.
The Wildcat junior struck out one Bulldog in each inning and didn't allow a walk. He did, however, hit two batters. Two of his three runs allowed were earned.
Childers pitched the fourth and fifth innings and faced 16 batters. He threw 48 pitches and gave up seven hits and six runs, all of which were earned.
Farmer came in for the sixth and final Bulldog inning. He gave up a hit and walked a batter while giving up a run on a wild pitch. He threw 20 pitches and earned strikeouts for all three outs.
Riley Pierce was the only De Soto player to have more than one hit. He went 2-for-4 from the plate. Austin DeGraeve, Farmer, Hanson, Childers and Grimes all added a hit to the cause.
Dow had the hot bat for the Bulldogs, as he was 3-for-3 from the plate and was credited with two RBIs. He also scored three runs.
Wright and Birkmeier had two hits apiece and scored three runs between them. Wright added an RBI to the cause. Travis Knoll, Toothman, Manly and Page all had a hit apiece.
De Soto will be in action again when it takes on the Junior Hawks at 6:30 p.m. Thursday on Field 25 at the West 3 and 2 complex.