Going into last week’s ball game against Southeast, Bueford Patton would not be one of the players that the Seminoles would worry about beating them. The soft-spoken first baseman was hitting at the bottom of the order and usually has a DH swing the bat while he plays first base.
In a 13-3 run-rule win over the Seminoles, however, Patton gave them and future opponents something to think about. He went 2-3 plus a walk to knock in three runs and score twice. He single-handedly finished off the Seminoles in the sixth inning.
With the Bulldogs up 9-3 and the bases juiced, Patton drilled a long triple to clean the sacks and put the game-ending runner at third with no outs. Nobody needed to drive him home, as Patton scored on a wild pitch to end the game, 13-3. In a preseason game, Patton came up with the bases loaded and hit a long homer, so it isn’t unusual to see him come through in the clutch.
“I finally hit the ball,” he said, “and I’m just happy that we all did our jobs and got the win.”
It was the second four-run inning of the game. In the four-run second inning, it took one complete trip around the batting order to give the Bulldogs a 7-2 lead. In the sixth inning, the Bulldogs used just four hitters to score four times.
The Seminoles scored twice in the opening inning. A two-out error brought up the Seminoles big hitter, who had four home runs already this season. Logan Adams was on the mound in a rare start for DeSoto. He asked me not to mention the long two-run homer that the Southeast batter hit off of him ... so I won’t say anything about it.
Trailing 2-0, the Bulldogs struck back with three in the first. Mason Ayers led off the game, getting to first on an error by the shortstop. Adams was hit by a pitch and Braden Steele drove in Ayers. Adams scored on a single by Danny Shea and Steele scored when he beat the throw home after Cody Burton struck out and the catcher had to complete the strikeout by throwing to first.
DeSoto scored four times in the second on RBIs from Adams, Shea and Burton. Another pair of runs scored in the fifth, as Garrett Leath was hit by a pitch and Patton moved him along with a single. Both scored on a single by Jade Zepeda.
That made the score 9-3 to set up Patton’s late-game heroics. Patton, Zepeda and Steele each collected a pair of hits in the eight-hit attack. The Southeast pitchers contributed to the Bulldogs offense by issuing seven walks and hitting four Bulldog batters.
It wasn’t an all perfect night for Patton, however. In the pregame warm up, he took a throw that hit him in the lip, causing it to swell.
“We were practicing picking low throws at first,” he said, “and I got hit in the mouth with one. I don’t want to get hit in the mouth again; it didn’t feel very good. I have to go to prom this weekend with my lip looking like this.”
DeSoto coach Mike Klossner in the postgame break-down said: “That was a good win for us. We need to be that team that takes advantage of the mistakes that the other team makes. In the last few games we haven’t been able to take advantage of those opportunities. Tonight, we took advantage of their mistakes. We got real good pitching tonight, and that is all we can ask is for our pitchers to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win.”