A seventh-inning literally fell inches short of success as the Hillsboro baseball team lost 5-3 to Pratt in the first game of their April 14 doubleheader at Memorial Field.
The Trojans lost the second game, 14-1, for an 0-6 start to the season.
Game 1 was a classic pitching duel. Pratt led 2-0 with single runs in the first and sixth innings, while Trojan ace Austin Cross gave up only one earned run while striking out 10 batters.
?Austin pitched real well,? coach Doug Dick said. ?He threw 94 pitches, he was a little fatigued but he wasn?t hurting.?
Pratt touched relief pitcher Braden Vogt (0-1) for three more runs in the seventh inning, fueled by three hits and three walks.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans finally got to Pratt starter Sean Noel for two runs, then scored a third run charged to reliever Seth Simmons.
With runners on first and second and two outs, leadoff hitter Micah Allen popped a short fly near the right field line, but Pratt?s outfielder caught the ball with? a diving catch, ending the rally and the game.
?If that ball drops, we?re at least going to score one run with a guy at third (base) and Micah, at worst, on first and probably second with David (Dick) up,? coach Doug Dick said. ?You want that opportunity to get a chance to win a game.?
Vogt (0-2) started Game 2, but after he set the Greenbacks down in order in the first inning, Pratt took control with five runs in the second inning and six in the third.
?We didn?t have a lot of energy left,? coach Dick said about the blowout loss. ?I blame part of that on the fact that the kids were gone for five days (to a youth gathering). They were all tired and we weren?t sharp.?
Hillsboro managed only one hit in the second game after three in the first game.
?Their pitchers were decent, but I don?t think they were better than what we saw from Hoisington?and we had a lot of hits off those pitchers,? coach Dick said.
Jakob Hanschu led the Trojans offensively with two hits in four at-bats, including a run batted in.
Coming?Rain postponed Friday?s scheduled games with Kingman to Monday. The Trojans were scheduled to play at league-leading Larned Tuesday, then will play at Marion Friday in a triangular with Ell-Saline.