Top-ranked Monroe Central overcame a shaky start and rallied to win its season opener Monday over visiting Centerville.
The Bulldogs scored three runs in the first inning and led 4-0 entering the bottom of the fourth before the Golden Bears finally managed to shift their offensive into gear.
Caden Shumaker had three of Monroe Central’s eight hits and Colton Pike knocked in three runs for the Bears, who tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth and added four more runs in the bottom of the fifth.
“Centerville is a good team and that was obvious because when they got there they were ready to go and excited about playing baseball,” Monroe Central coach Matt Deckman said. “But I told they guys that you have to expect that from every team we play.
“They punched us in the mouth, but our guys never got down on themselves, kept playing, and showed the kind of baseball players they are,” Deckman added. “So I was kind of glad to be in a game like this because it will make us a better team and better prepare us for the tournament.”
Bryce Deckman allowed three first inning runs, but settled down to pitch the first three innings, striking out six batters and walking just one. Ashton Bandy (1-0) pitched the final four innings and allowed just one unearned run, striking our four and walking a batter.
Bryce Deckman had a big two-out hit to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth – a flare to center field. A inning later, the Bears tacked on four more runs, highlighted by Cole Pike’s two-run double.
Caleb Snyder also had a multi-hit game for Monroe Central.
The Bears finished with eight hits and took advantage of seven walks, leaving nine on base. They committed three errors and struck out nine times, too many for Deckman’s liking.
“Nine strikeouts is too many, but we did some other good things at the plate,” Deckman said.
The Bears host Randolph Southern on Thursday and travel to Alexandria on Saturday.
Centerville 300 100 0 4 8 0
Monroe Central 000 440 x 8 8 3
(BEARS, 1-0, 0-0 in MEC)
Player ab r h rbi
Bandy 3 0 1 1
Deckman 2 0 1 2
Coffee 4 0 0 0
Kennedy 3 1 0 0
Snyder 3 2 2 0
Matheny 3 1 0 0
Shumaker 3 2 3 0
Pike 3 2 1 3
Burris 2 0 0 0
Totals 26 8 8 6