Elijah Rush worked seven innings, striking out nine and allowing one run to lead the Melbourne Bearkatz to a 4-1 victory over the Mammoth Spring Bears on April 4.
The lone Bear run came in the third inning as Derek Todd slammed a solo home run over the left field fence.
The Bearkatz collected two base hits off Mammoth Spring starter Matt Newman in the top of the first, but the runners were left stranded on base to end the inning.
Adam Brown punched a base hit through the infield for the first Mammoth Spring hit of the game in the bottom of the second.
Brown was unable to score as Rush got his second strikeout of the game to close the inning.
After a pair of groundball outs to start the third, Dylan Dixon advanced to first on a walk, and Elijah Rush helped his own cause with a bloop single to short left field, giving the Bearkatz two on with two outs.
Next up for Melbourne, Levi Taylor knocked in Dixon and Rush with a base hit, putting the Bearkatz up 2-0.
Mammoth Spring got one run back in the bottom of the third as Derek Todd drove a Rush mistake over the left field fence to bring the Bears within one run at 2-1.
The Bear defense kept Melbourne from adding to the lead in the fourth as Andrew McFarland was thrown out attempting to steal third base, ending the inning.
The Bearkatz were only momentarily deterred as they notched another run in the top of the fifth.
After a strikeout to start the inning, Dixon got on base with an infield hit.
A hit-and-run play from Rush moved Dixon into scoring position at third.
A walk to Adam Hoskinds loaded the bases for Melbourne.
With no room for another Bearkatz on base, Seth Womack drew a walk, bringing in Dixon from third.
A groundout ended the top of the fifth with Melbourne in front 3-1.
Stephen White started the bottom of the fifth for Mammoth Spring with a walk.
The Bearkatz defense stiffened by getting Brandon Myers to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Next up, Derek Todd ripped a standup double to left field, but was caught in a run-down between second and third to end the inning.
Melbourne tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth to finish the 4-1 victory.
At the plate for the Bearkatz, Andy Miller and Dylan Dixon had two hits apiece.
Matt Newman took the loss for the Bears.
Derek Todd paced Mammoth Spring with two hits, including a double and home run.