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Enterprise sweeps Enterprise-Clarke — Yellow Jackets beat the Bulldogs 1-0 in 8 innings Friday, then 4-3 Saturday

After winning game one Friday night 1-0 in eight innings against Enterprise-Clarke, the Enterprise Yellow Jackets completed the sweep Saturday night winning 4-3, advancing to the third-round of the MHSAA 2A baseball playoffs.

The Bulldogs jumped out in front of the Yellow Jackets early and looked like they were going to end up forcing a game three. The Yellow Jackets overcame their errors, using a two-out rally in the seventh inning to pick up the win.

“Everything was working for me on the mound,” Yellow Jacket pitcher Austin Fugler said. “We made a few errors, but I kept going after them. Unfortunately, they got some big hits, but we won the ball game.”

“Offensively we were trying to hit the ball and put the ball in play,” Enterprise’s Colby Beard said. “Our mindset was to win the game.”

After two scoreless innings, the Bulldogs would be the first on the score board. Batting with one out, in the top half of the third, Enterprise-Clarke’s Ridge Kidd singled, giving the Bulldogs their first hit of the game.

Kidd advanced to third as John Luke Parker was reached first base on a dropped third strike. The Bulldogs loaded up the bases with one out with Trey Beech drawing a walk.

Dalton Braxley would give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly, but the Bulldogs would get out of the inning with a double play.

The Yellow Jackets got the run back in their half of the third. With one out, Fugler doubled on a line drive to center field. Wyatt Burns reached first on an error by the Bulldogs’ first baseman, scoring Fugler to tie up the game. The Bulldogs kept the game tied at one-all, getting their own double play to escape damage.

Both teams got runners on bases in the fourth inning but were unable to score.

The Bulldogs broke the tie in their half of the fifth. Jeremy Pippin started for the Bulldogs, reaching first base on an error by the Yellow Jackets. Running for Pippin, Braxton Glebe took third base on a ground out to second base by Kidd and later scored on an error throw out attempt to second base by the Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets limited the damage to the one run, however, striking out the next two batters.

The Bulldogs extended their lead in the top half of the seventh scoring one run. Leading off the inning, Kidd walked on four straight balls. Kidd made his way to second base on a sacrifice by Parker and found himself on third base when a pitch made its way past the Yellow Jackets catcher. Baxley scored Kidd on a line-drive single into left field. Enterprise ended the inning striking out the next batter.

The Yellow Jackets rallied in the final frame of the seventh. With two outs, Fugler singled on a fly ball to right field. Burns took four straight balls for a free pass to first base. After intentionally walking Hunter Richardson, the Yellow Jackets loaded up the bases. The Yellow Jackets scored one run when Landon Gartman was hit by a pitch. Colby Beard put an end to the game — and the series — as he singled to shortstop and scored two runs.

The Enterprise Yellow Jackets fought their way to a 4-3 victory.

“We started real slow,” Enterprise Yellow Jackets coach Cass Brister said. “Their pitcher did a really good job of mixing up pitches. He kept us off balance early. I’m very proud of the guys there at the end. We were down to two outs and hadn’t had a very good game. We were able to manufacture some things and get runners on base. It started with Fugler getting his big hit.”

Fugler picked up the win for the Yellow Jackets going six and two-thirds innings, while allowing six hits and four runs while picking up seven strike outs. Luke Burns pitched in relief.

“(Austin) Fugler pitched a great game for us,” Brister said. “We have two really good pitchers and have relied on them so much this year. We made a few errors, but it helps when you have pitchers that can pitch you out of the mistakes. We can’t continue to do that the further we go, we’re going to have to clean up the mistakes. I am proud of the guys.”

Beard led the Yellow Jackets with a single and two RBIs. Fugler had a double and a single. Richardson had a single. Feltus notched two singles. Dylan Carter finished the hitting for the Yellow Jackets with a single. Gartman had an RBI.

Enterprise will take on the Perry Central Bulldogs Thursday in round three of the MHSAA 2A baseball playoffs.

Story by Dave Linton