The Durant Lions underclassmen baseball team hosted Bennington Tuesday evening and claimed a 6-1 win.
The Lions had a few games under the belts, but Bennington coach Tommy McWilliams said it was the first action for the Bears since one practice in early April. McWilliams said he expects to have approximately 20 kids come out for the team, which is about double the average roster size.
In the first inning Tuesday, Bennington two-hole Trevor McWilliams drew a walk and Cameron Hammond hit a single up the middle, only to get stranded at second and third.
Durant was done quickly, with three straight strikeouts by Kody Powell, Dylon Polson and Brody Morgan.
Bennington had a three-and-out second inning.
To start the bottom of the frame, Durant’s Brady Nichols and Josh Gonzalez drew walks. But they became standers, other than Nichols stealing second, as Tanner Davidson, Kyle Hughes and Gavin Daws struck out in order.
After William Smith went down on strikes in leading off Bennington in the third, Anthony Perez reached on an error and stole second. Trevor McWilliams grounded out to first baseman Daws before Hammond got an RBI single through to right-center.
Zach Henderson followed with a single and took an extra base when Durant gunned for Hammond’s courtesy runner, Johnny Mays, going to third. With a Tucker McWilliams walk, the bases were loaded. But Durant short stop Nichols handled a grounder by Andrew McDonald and the throw to first.
Bennington’s 1-0 lead didn’t last long. After nine-hole Noah Morrison struck out, Taylor York landed a single in shallow right. Leadoff Powell kept it going with a single that got through to left, and Polson drew a walk to load the bases. York was able to score on a passed ball before strikeouts by Morgan and Nichols left two on base.
Josh Rubio walked to start the fourth for the Bears. Levi Russell followed with a single to left-center. Smith reached on a fielder’s choice to the pitcher that sent Rubio back to the dugout. Dillon Clark then flied out to the first baseman and Perez went down on strikes to leave two stranded.
Clark came to pitch for Bennington in place of Perez in the bottom of the third. He hit the first batter, Gonzalez. Davidson then dropped one in just the right spot between the mound and first base to get on. He and Gonzalez advanced on passed balls, with Gonzalez sliding into home on his second opportunity.
After Hughes drew a walk, Daws landed a two-RBI double in left-center. Morrison and York reached on infield errors. Morrison crossed the plate before the top of Durant’s order went down on two strikeouts and a fly to right.
The Lions’ five-run fourth inning gave them the 6-1 lead.
Hammond hit a single hard up the middle and Zach Henderson got a one-bagger through to right-field, but the Bears couldn’t score to close the gap in the fifth and final inning of the game.
In five turns on the mound for Durant, Powell threw for seven strikeouts and three walks, and allowed six hits.
For Bennington, Perez struck out nine, walked three and allowed two hits across three innings. Clark pitched one inning, striking out two, walking one, hitting one and allowing two hits.
The Durant underclassmen are scheduled to take the field in a Tecumseh tournament Friday-Sunday.
Bennington will go to Achille Friday with play slated to start at 10 a.m.