DIERKS – The Dierks Outlaws pulled out a come-from-behind win on the diamond in the final moments of a defensive battle with the Gurdon GoDevils Monday afternoon.
Dierks took the first score of the game as Tyler Kesterson stole home in the final play of the first inning, establishing a score of Dierks 1-0 that would stand until the top of the sixth as both teams found it impossible to make advances against effective pitching/fielding combinations.
The change came as the GoDevils finally cracked the outfield with a hard line drive to center and followed that with a pair of hard grounders to left to bring in a trio of runners on the top of the sixth. The Outlaws had to bide until again in the last play of the inning a player, this time Trendin McKinney, was able to steal home. This set the score going into the final inning Gurdon 3-2.
The Dierks infield defense was again able to hold the GoDevils off from any further advances, and when it was turned over for the last time to Outlaw batters, they knew their job: two runs.
After a walk, a bunt that resulted in a fortuitous error, and an Outlaw wearing a pitch, they held loaded bases. Kesterson dropped a fly in center field, which allowed Derek Hill to come home and tie the score. Two more Dierks players sat back down after being struck out swinging, leaving nailbiting as a viable option as Jarett Fox came to the plate and delivered with a hard grounder to left field that allowed Colton Strode to run in on. That run ended the game Dierks 4-3 final.
Caleb Dunn was rightly credited the win, racking up nearly 65 percent strikes on his 110 pitches in all seven innings and allowing only six hits. Dunn also was the player struck by a pitch in the last inning that contributed to loading the bases and wore it well, literally taking one for the team.
The Outlaws’ next game will be in Mena against the Bearcats this afternoon before returning home to play the Mineral Springs Hornets Friday.