One game, the Davenport West baseball team could not find its defense and in another game the Bettendorf pitching staff had trouble finding the plate.
It added up to both teams getting a blowout and getting blown out as they split a Mississippi Athletic Conference doubleheader on Monday night on the Dogs' home field. The Bulldogs won the opener, 9-1, while West claimed the night cap, 16-5, in five innings.
The Falcons (2-4 MAC, 5-7 overall) scored eight runs in the second inning and seven runs in the fifth inning to bounce back in Game 2 after giving up five unearned runs in the first game. Bettendorf pitchers issued 10 walks and hit five West batters in the second game to give the Falcons too much extra help.
Both West coach Scott Beatty and Bettendorf coach Brandon Nau tried to find some positives from uneven performances.
"We have to get a lot more consistent with our energy, effort and execution. We did show a little more life in the second game," Beatty said. "You take your hat offs to the kids for wanting to compete (in the second game) but we still have to get a lot better."
Nau started freshman pitcher Ashton Westphall in the first game and that worked out well as Westphall went four solid innings to get the win. But freshman Noah Mack, who started Game 2, and his reliever, sophomore Carter Furness, both could never get comfortable as West took control of the second game in the second inning with eight runs off of four walks and one hit batsman. Nau said Mack was fighting through a back issue while Furness was under the weather.
"Both guys wanted to give it a go and they battled," Nau said of his young hurlers. "Our bats, up until tonight, were kind of quiet so that was one thing I took away from this is the boys battled the whole way though, even in that second game. They competed the whole way, which was good to see."
The Bulldogs (2-4, 2-6) had their big inning in the fourth of Game 1, plating six runs to push a 3-0 lead to 9-0. Andrew Kramer and Noah Abbott both drove in a pair of runs in the win. Sam Schluensen added an RBI groundout while two West errors allowed two more runs to score and the Falcon pitchers also balked in a pair of runs. Ryan McKown had the lone RBI for the visitors in the first game.
But McKown, along with teammates Logan Gluba, Jared Black, Noah Carlson all had RBI walks as the Bulldog pitchers struggled to find the strike zone in the second inning. Izaiah Schaeffer-Houston chased home a run after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Leo DeLaPaz, who got the win on the mound for the Falcons, chipped in an RBI suicide squeeze and Noah Downing finished off the big inning with an RBI single.
West put things away in the fifth behind two-run singles from Leo DeLaPaz and Gluba while Jared Black chipped in an RBI double as the Falcons got out to a 16-2 edge.
Tavian Goerdt, who homered earlier in the second game, knocked in a pair of runs with a two-run single of his own for the hosts in the home team's final at-bat.