The Diamond Wildcats split their final games of the regular season, winning 11-4 at home Monday over College Heights and losing 15-1 on the road Tuesday against Galena (Kansas).
In the 11-4 win Monday, Diamond scored three runs in the first, one in the third, six in the fourth, and one in the sixth, while College Heights isolated runs to two in the second and two in the fourth.
Diamond senior Christian Maturino definitely had a final home game to remember, with two home runs, three runs scored, and five RBI leading the way for the Wildcats.
On the mound, Maturino earned the win and he allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings and he struck out six and walked four.
Back to the offensive, Trey Marbough added three hits and Hunter Renfro, Noah Hubbard, and Leighton Bridgewater each contributed two to the 14-hit attack. Hunter Russow, Ben Moreland, and Sam Hardy rounded out the hit parade. Renfro also homered and doubled and Russow doubled.
Brenden Ferguson pitched a scoreless 2/3 inning and Renfro finished off the last two innings with six strikeouts and two walks. Wildcat pitchers recorded eight straight outs by strikeout to finish the game in style.
All told, three Diamond pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.
On Tuesday, Diamond felt the bite of the Bulldogs louder than their bark, as Galena plated two runs in the first, three in the second, one in the third, and nine in the fourth to force Diamond into scoring five runs in the fifth to avoid the run-rule. Diamond scored one in the third.
The Bulldogs collected 18 hits on the day, while the Wildcats had four thanks to a pair from Ferguson and one each from Bridgewater and Renfro. Bridgewater doubled for the lone Diamond extra-base hit.
Ferguson took the loss and he allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits over 3 1/3 innings and he struck out two and walked three. Bridgewater allowed seven runs (all earned) on seven hits over 2/3 inning and he both struck out and walked one.
Diamond, 5-15 overall, returns to action Saturday in the Class 3, District 12 tournament against host Ash Grove.
The Wildcats and the Pirates did not play each other in the regular season.
The winner of the No. 4 (Ash Grove) and No. 5 (Diamond) seeds gets the prize of a semifinal contest against top seed Stockton.
Diamond reached the semifinals last season, where the Wildcats lost a 4-3 game to eventual district champion Stockton.
In the three previous seasons before that, Diamond had its seasons ended by Clever. Clever remained in District 11, while Diamond moved over to District 12.