Late innings prove costly as THS baseball drops two to Piper
The Chieftain baseball team fell back into the loss column Wednesday, suffering a two-game sweep against Kaw Valley League opponent Piper. THS (3-11) was within striking distance in the late innings of both games, but lost by scores of 4-2 and 14-4.
Sophomore Travis Woods (2-1) started the first game on the mound and limited the Pirates to just six hits in 6.1 innings. He allowed two earned runs, but Piper scored two more as a product of defensive mishaps.
"That was a great pitching performance, but we made a lot of errors behind him," coach Mitch Loomis said. "We've been pretty good defensively all year, but we were kicking ground balls."
The Chieftains struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the second, but the Pirates tied things up in the third and went in front for good with a three-run fourth. Loomis' squad managed just one more run in the fifth.
Senior Ben Williams led the way at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run batted in. Woods drove in the team's only other run.
THS took a 4-2 lead into the fifth inning of the nightcap, but Piper exploded for 12 runs to take control in the top of the frame. Senior pitcher Austin Harkrader (0-4) mowed down hitters for the first four innings, but struggled with control issues in the fifth. Piper took advantage, tagging Harkrader for nine runs.
The Chieftain starter was relieved by junior Cody Saladin, who allowed three more runs before retiring the side. THS failed to score in the bottom of the fifth, and the game was called due to the mercy rule.
Several Chieftain hitters reached base early in the game, and the team capitalized with two runs each in the first and second inning. However, according to Loomis, there was potential for a lot more damage in the early going.
"We loaded the bases both times with less than two outs and only came away with four runs on it. In that situation, when we don't come away with more than two runs, that's a disappointment."
Williams stayed hot at the plate, going 3-for-3 and driving in another run. Sophomore Shane Levy also drove in two.
The Chieftains will be back on the diamond at 6 p.m. Tuesday when they play host to Lansing. They suffered a 10-0 loss to the Lions on April 10.
PHS 001 300 0 — 4
THS 010 010 0 — 2
Leading hitters: Ben Williams 2-4, RBI; Travis Woods 1-2, RBI.
PHS 020 0(12)X X — 14
THS 220 00X X — 4
Leading hitters: Shane Levy 1-1, 2 RBI; Ben Williams 3-3, RBI.