Murdock loaded the bases in the top of the first, walking two and giving up a single, but he found his pitch quickly and shut down the next three Black River batters, collecting three of his season-high nine strikeouts.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but an eight-run third inning put the game out of reach, with the Presidents mustering one run. Twin Valley’s defense backing up Murdock was stellar, with most plays staying in the infield, and the score at 11-1 going into the fifth.
Murdock seemed to reach his limit in the fifth, giving up five runs on six hits, but finished the inning. Twin Valley’s offense scored three more runs in the fifth to back him up. Jason Moore came in in relief for the last two innings, throwing 29 pitches in a rough sixth, which saw Black River record three more runs. But Moore found his pitch in the seventh, throwing 14 pitches, and recording five strikeouts and two walks in his two innings. Once again the Wildcat offense backed up their pitcher, scoring four more runs.
Sam Molner led Wildcat batters, going 2-3 with two RBIs, two walks, and four runs. Moore went 3-5, scoring two runs. Six Wildcat batters scored multiple runs on the day. Coach Jim Burke said he was pleased with the improvement from their last game when 14 of 30 Wildcats struck out. “We’re seeing improvement,” said Burke. “I still see our boys looking at too many strikes, but we keep going over it in practice, and we’re playing smarter at the plate.”
On defense, Burke says his boys played well, showing improvement as well. “We’re rushing too much in our infield play, and we have to learn to trust the time,” said Burke, “Sometimes we hesitate on charging a blooper, but it’s a matter of getting used to it. Our outfielders have good range.”
Joey Noble went 2-3, recorded a walk, and scored two runs for Black River. Ben Veysey, who took the loss on the mound for the Presidents, went 2-3 with two walks and three runs.
The Wildcats will face the Presidents on Thursday at home at 4:30.