Baldwin baseball team falls to Custer-MCE for third time

CUSTER — It was the third 15-0 loss to Custer-Mason County Eastern this season for Baldwin’s baseball team and an early exit from the playoffs for coach Doug Bolles’ Panthers.

On Friday, host MCE defeated Baldwin 15-0 in the Division 4 district semifinals.

Devon Burrell took the loss for Baldwin, which also suffered 15-0 losses in a pair of doubleheaders during the regular season.

“I wanted to see improvement,” Bolles said. “It’s been a struggle.”

The Cardinals scored four runs in the first inning, four in the second and seven in the third. Baldwin’s offense did not produce a hit.

MCE improved to 16-12. Tyler Thurston was the winning pitcher.

Thurston led off the game with a double to get things started. Mike Stickney had a three-run double. Cody Keilman added a two-run single for the winners.

“We did what we needed to do,” said Cardinal coach Dan Hanson. “So we’re moving on to the next game.”

Baldwin ended the season at 6-15.

“The same will happen next year if we don’t do more things in the offseason,” Bolles said. “I’m losing Brandon Avery and Aaron Thomas. And Aaron was only with us for like the last quarter of the season. I appreciate him coming out to help us otherwise we would not have a team. Otherwise everyone is coming back.”

Bolles has high hopes for next season.

“I have a decent eighth grade coming up,” Bolles said. “I saw some improvement from some people C.J. Siddock and Robert Beebe really showed improvement. Devon Burrell is coming back. He’ll be a senior. He’s our best pitcher. We’ll be OK, but it depends on the kids.

“Custer is by far better than we are. But we didn’t show improvement (against Mason County Eastern) from three weeks ago and that’s what really hurt.”

Burrell is looking forward to having youth program players moving up to the high school level.

“We have a lot of returning players back next year,” Burrell said. “We’ll have Andon Ware back next year too.”

Ware was out for track this spring but Burrell indicated the talented Panther athlete will also return to the diamond next season.