RUSSELLVILLE – An experienced crop of Russellville returnees were too much for the Dixon Bulldogs baseball team Monday.
"Going in to the game tonight, we knew that we were up against a very strong Russellville team that returned practically an entire team from last season," Dixon coach Alex Shelton said.
After taking an early 1-0 lead, though, it seemed the Bulldogs could hold their own against a resilient 9-4 Russellville squad.
A lead-off single by Hunter Barnett and an Andrew Meier double was followed by a hit-by-pitch committed to Solomon Weider. A subsequent sacrifice fly scored an early run before Russellville capitalized by executing an inning-ending double play.
Meier, Dixon's starting pitcher, then struggled in the following inning by allowing four runs to cross the plate before allowing another six runs in the fourth and fifth innings to give the opponent a commanding 10-1 lead.
Because of Saturday's two-game set, Meier was forced to pitch "longer than we would have liked," Shelton explained.
"Sometimes you have to have guys go out and eat up innings for the good of the team, and Andrew certainly did that for us tonight," he said. "I was proud that he gave us five innings of work."
Russellville added its final run in the bottom of the sixth, which prompted an 11-1 run-rule finish.
Shelton said his team's sporadic offense must change should the team vie for a powerful finish.
"We will need to find some ways to be scrappier on offense and manufacture some more runs," he said.
The junior varsity team fell 2-1 to Russellville on Monday.
[Varsity game stats: LP – A. Meier (5 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 2 K, 8 BB), 1-for-1 (2B, 2 BB); S. Weider, 1-for-2 (1B, HBP); Wyatt Hughes, 1-for-2 (1B); Hunter Barnett, 1-for-3 (1B, R).]
Dixon is scheduled to compete against Eldon at home on Thursday at 5 p.m.