A pitching duel between seniors Scott Reller of Rock Bridge and Jake Mackey of Mexico went into the fifth inning Monday at Rock Bridge Field.
Only one pitcher returned to the mound in the sixth.
The Bulldogs scored four runs in the fifth to break a tie at 1 and Mackey cruised to a 6-3 complete-game victory against the Bruins.
“Jake has pitched real well for us this season,” Mexico coach Keith Louder said. “He isn’t necessarily real flashy on the mound but he seems to get the job done. He had another good performance tonight for us.”
With two outs in the fifth, Reller walked the No. 9 hitter and the Bulldogs reeled off four hits in a row, including a bases-clearing double by senior Cody Whalen to take a 5-1 advantage.
“I thought (Reller) was doing really well,” Rock Bridge coach Terry Whitney said. “He was hitting his spots up and down and it was just that one inning. There were a couple of high pitches that they hit.”
Mackey stifled the Bruins (6-5) at the plate. He allowed six hits, struck out five and walked one.
“I was pitching pretty well the whole game,” Mackey said. “In the late innings, I started to lose it a little bit but I was happy that coach stayed with me.”
Mackey improved his record to 2-1 and has as many complete games as victories. Louder said that his ERA is under 2.
“He did a good job at off speed pitches and he got us swinging at some balls that we shouldn’t have,” Whitney said.
Mexico (6-3) played an errorless game to support Mackey’s pitching performance.
Louder said defense has been an integral part of the Bulldogs’ success this year.
“Anytime I let a pitch slip they always were there to back me up. They were making good plays behind me,” Mackey said.
Aside from his bases clearing double, Whalen anchored the Bulldogs’ defense. Whalen had five assists at shortstop.
“Cody has come a long way and keeps working hard on his defensive part of his game,” Louder said. “Defensively, in the last three games he has stepped up and has had a lot of opportunities and has been making the plays.”
“(Whalen) made every play,” Whitney said. “We hit the ball hard to him. They made plays when they had to.”
A rally by Rock Bridge fell short in the seventh inning. With two runs in and runners on first and second, senior Joe Whitener grounded to third to end the game. Three of Rock Bridge’s hits came in the last frame.
“We just didn’t do a very good job putting the ball in play today,” Whitney said. “It’s the one thing that we probably need to work on.”
Reller (1-2) gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk in his five innings.
Reliever Keith Briedwell struck out the side in the sixth and sophomore Jordan Nietzel threw the seventh, allowing no hits but throwing three walks and three wild pitches.