SCIOTOVILLE – Coming off a win over the Western Indians Wednesday evening, the East Tartans found themselves facing another Indians team, Peebles, on Thursday. The Tartans were looking to make it two wins in a row against Peebles, but were unable to overcome the visiting Indians’ lead.
The Tartans kept the game within reach until the fifth inning, when the Indians were able to end the game with an 11-run lead, 17-6.
There was no shortage of runs Thursday evening, and they came across the plate early in the game.
In the top of the first inning, Peebles scored five runs off two hits, and three errors. The Indians’ bats were finding Tartan pitcher Dylan Bailey’s pitches causing the freshman pitcher, who was making his first high school start, some troubles early in the game.
Despite giving up five runs in the first, East showed some heart in the bottom of the inning. The Tartans would get one run to cross the plate to cut Peebles’ lead to four runs, 5-1.
The Indians found batting success in the second inning as well, as they continued to cross the plate, adding five more runs off three hits.
East refused to give away they game though, as the Tartans fired back with a five-run second inning, which saw Dalton Kritzwiser, Josh James, Akia Brown, Tyler Winston, and Brady Douthat all score.
As the second inning came to an end, the Tartans took a big cut into the Indians’ lead, 10-6.
East baseball coach Jim Mahlmeister sent another freshman to the mound to start the third inning, Tommy Lambert.
Lambert had similar problems with Peebles’ batters. He started the inning giving up a double, followed by a single, but got help from his infield who caught an Indian base-runner on his way to third to get the first out of the inning.
The young freshman also showed some control issues, as he hit the next two batters, and walked the two following.
After giving up another single, he settled down, and struck out the next batter, and then got some help from his catcher, Douthat, who made a diving catch in foul territory to end the inning.
The third inning was not kind to the Tartan batters. East went three up, three down in the inning, hitting into two ground outs, and then striking out to end the bottom of the third.
As the game headed into the fourth inning, East found itself trailing 13-6.
The Indians added to their lead in their half of the fourth inning. After scoring three more runs, the Indians then struck out once, hit a fly ball to Kobe Lennex, and then hit into a ground out, to end the inning.
Trailing 16-6, the Tartans tried to cut into the Indians’ lead again in their half of the fourth inning, but went down to three consecutive strikeouts.
In the fifth and final inning, Peebles got one final run in the game, increasing their lead to 17-6.
The Tartans went into the bottom of the fifth inning hoping to cut the Indians’ lead to under 10 runs to keep the game going.
Drew Lowe got the inning started with a single. After a strikeout, Bailey drew a walk to put runners on first and second base with only one out.
Lambert popped up to the second baseman right after, but not before hitting his teammate, Luke Bradley, with a foul ball.
Bradley used that as motivation, as he was then hit by a wild inside pitch, which loaded the bases, and ignited his team into a cheering frenzy.
With two outs, and needing two runs to score to keep the game going, James came to the plate. The magic of the inning would disappear though, as Peebles pitcher Stephen Penn got the final out by way of strikeout.
“We’re a young team, and we’re inexperienced,” Mahlmeister said. “We kind of played like that. I thought we did a good job offensively, and I think we did a good job running the bases. I just think inexperience showed on the mound, because we pitched two freshmen. I also think our inexperience showed in the field.”
The Tartans are playing this season with only two players with previous varsity experience, Brown and Lowe.
“We’ve got guys not hitting the cut-off man. We’ve got guys not backing up. We’ve got guys dropping pop-ups, straight up in the air,” Mahlmeister said. “Little things that have to be done. I don’t know that we would have won the game, but it would have been nice to see how things turned out, had we made a couple of those.”
Mahmeister had praise for Douthat and Lowe, as each came up with several big plays.
“Brady is a great athlete and he’s one of those kids who we’d play him everywhere if we could,”Mahlmeister said. “He does a great job behind the plate.”
This was Douthat’s first game behind the plate this season, but Mahlmeister said he will be back in the position again.
Lowe was very vocal with his teammates, leading the infield and making sure they knew where the play would be and telling some of the younger players where to position themselves in different situations.
“Drew is very supportive, and I think he has a future as a coach,” Mahlmeister said. “You can tell by the way he acts. He knows how to handle people. He can be soft and easy with some people, and he can be a little more firm with others.”
The Tartans will play Western once again Friday evening at Western High School. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.
East – Brown 1-3 (RBI, R), Winston (RBI, R), Douthat 1-2 (2 R, BB), Lowe 1-2 (BB), Maynard 0-2 (HBP), Bailey 0-1 (2 BB), D. Kritzwiser 0-0 (BB), Bradley 0-1 (BB), James 0-2 (BB)
Peebles – Sims 3-4 (2 R, BB), Robinson 3-4 (4 R, BB), West 2-2 (4 RBI, 3 R, 2 HBP), Penn 0-3 (RBI, R, BB, HBP), Newkirk 2-3 (RBI, 2 R, BB), McElwee 1-4 (3 RBI), Vaughn 0-2 (2 BB)
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.