Mustangs win in the muck

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It would be difficult to imagine a worse home opener: It was cold; it rained.

And Billingsley lost, 9-4, to Isabella in both teams’ first game of the season.

The Bears briefly gave their fans—most of whom were huddled under umbrellas or in their vehicles—reason to cheer by taking a 1-0 lead to end the first inning.

Preston Wallace (2/3, BB, 2 RBI, R) walked with one out and eventually scored on a wild pitch, but Isabella answered with two runs in the top of the second when a two-out double by Devon Stough(1/2, 2 BB) scored Hunter Cleckley (1/2, BB) and Matt Hardy (1/4).

The lead changed hands twice more over the next two half-innings and Billingsley tied it in the fourth, but a three-run Isabella seventh inning put it out of reach.

Austin Anderson (2/3) led off with a double past the center fielder, and Austin Haigler took a walk.

Anderson scored and Haigler took third on a throwing error before Cleckley’s infield base hit plated Haigler’s pinch runner, Nick Noah.

Cleckley moved around the bases and scored without the benefit of another Isabella hit in the inning, and the Mustangs led, 7-4.

The visitors would tack on an insurance run in the sixth inning and another in the seventh, but Billingsley didn’t threaten the plate four the last three innings against Isabella’s starter, Haigler.

Haigler allowed six hits and eight walks in seven innings but struck out eight.

The losing pitcher was Billingsley’s Wes Lawrence, who gave up nine hits and three walks in five innings. Lawrence struck out nine Isabella batters.