ELSBERRY, Mo. — A sea of red, black, and white packed the stands of the Elsberry American Legion baseball park for an equally matched EMO conference competition. The Bowling Green Bobcats put up a tough fight against a solid Elsberry Indian team, but fell short, losing 5-3 in seven innings of play.
Bowling Green started the game in the batter’s box and quickly found themselves playing defense. Elsberry’s defense went to work quick, with two strikeouts to start the inning and then a 5-3 ground out.
The Indians were excited following their solid 1-2-3 start to the game, and they created a rowdy dugout atmosphere. Elsberry pounced first, with a ground rule double followed by defensive errors, the Indians went up 1-0. Bowling Green’s ace, Kaden Chandler then had some trouble finding the zone, hitting two batters, putting the Indians up 2-0. The ‘Cats rocky start to the game left the boys on the diamonds rattled. The Indians jumped on the opportunity to kick a team while they were down and stole home. This bold move gave Elsberry a comfortable lead of 3-0 over Bowling Green headed to the second inning.
Junior Owen Niemeyer got things started for the red and black in the third inning, with a leadoff single and stolen base. Niemeyer was later thrown out at third on a fielder’s choice, but the ‘Cats fed off his energy, and were aggressive in the box. With two outs and bases loaded, Chandler helped himself with line drive single to center field. The Bowling Green ace and clean-up hitter padded his stats with two RBI’s and cut the Indians lead to only one, with just a swing of the bat.
Chandler found himself in some trouble in the fourth inning, with a hit batter and a wild pitch to start. A ball to right fielder Charlie Bowen looked like a run for the Indians, but an excellent relay from Bowen nailed the runner at home plate, avoiding the threat. Elsberry’s bats and energy wouldn’t die, and the team went on to score two more runs before Bowling Green could record three outs.
Bowling Green’s Cooper Kiel tried to help his team with a moon shot that cleared the steep left-center field fence in the fifth inning, but the ‘Cats couldn’t muster anymore runs. Kiel’s solo shot brought Bowling Green within two of their EMO conference foe and that is how the score would remain.
The Bobcats went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh inning on two swinging strikeouts and a ground out.
Chandler was excellent from the bump after settling in following the teams rocky first inning start. Tossing six innings and eleven strikeouts, the Bowling Green ace did a fantastic job placing the ball, making it tough for Elsberry’s offense to catch up.
Bowling Green is set to battle non-conference opponent Palmyra on Monday, April 5 with first pitch set for 5:00 PM.