STUARTS DRAFT — Montezuma took the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth inning and held on for a 7-5 victory Sunday night at the Diamond Club over the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks.
The victory was the first of the season for the Braves after they dropped a doubleheader to Grottoes on Saturday. With the loss, Draft drops to 0-2 on the season.
After three scoreless innings, the visitors struck for three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Will Wagner led off the inning with a base hit and stole second. With one out, Adam Hackenburg walked to put runners at first and second.
Both runners advanced on a passed ball and Wagner scored on a wild pitch for the first run of the game. Kyle Armstrong drew a two-out walk to put two runners on and Tavian Hall followed with a two-run double to left, giving the Braves a 3-0 lead.
The home team answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Henry Cooke doubled with one out and Cody Bartley followed with a run-scoring single to put the Dbacks on the board. Tyler Wilcher and Kent Rooklin both singled with two outs to load the sacks. Terrell Thompson then drew a bases-loaded walk to trim the Montezuma lead to 3-2.
The teams traded single runs in the fifth inning.
In the top of the inning, Jeremy Wagner and Will Wagner opened the frame with back-to-back singles. A one-out base hit by Hackenburg scored Jeremy Wagner to put the Braves up 4-2.
Cooke got that run back with a solo homer in the bottom half of the fifth, slicing the Montezuma lead to 4-3.
Montezuma padded the margin in the seventh when Will Wagner walked and Jacob Haney followed with a triple, pushing the Braves’ lead to 5-3.
The Braves added what proved to be two key insurance runs in the top of the ninth on Will Wagner’s two-run homer, making the score 7-3.
Draft threatened in the bottom of the ninth against Braves’ reliever Keegan Oliver. Rooklin walked to lead off the inning and, with one out, Will Haas launched a long homer over the fence in left center, trimming the Montezuma advantage to 7-5. Jack Pausic walked, but Oliver struck out the next two batters to preserve Montezuma’s first win of the season, 7-5.
Will Wagner was 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs on the night to lead the Braves’ offense. Cooke was 3-for-5, including a double and home at the plate, to lead the Dbacks.
The Diamondbacks will be back in action Tuesday night when they host the Elkton Blue Sox at 7:30 p.m.