KANSAS CITY – It was a rough night for the Abilene Cowboy baseball team Friday night as they dropped both ends of a doubleheader against Southeast of Saline, played at the T-Bones Stadium at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City.
The Cowboys faced a Southeast of Saline team that came ready to play and had all their baseball cylinders clicking, pitching, hitting and defense.
Southeast took the first game 11-1.
Abilene could only manage two hits by Grant Prichard and Tanner Hoekman off the Trojan pitcher in game one.
Southeast limited the Cowboys to five base runners in the opener.
Sophomore Hunter Combes started on the hill for the Cowboys, working the first four innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits while striking out five.
Junior Chris Cease threw an inning and a third in relief allowing four runs on five hits.
“I was pleased with the way Hunter and Chris threw in game one. They both were working hard on making pitches against a tough hitting team in SES,” said Cowboy Coach Travis Bartley.
“Our defense let us down with six errors. The game was closer than what the scoreboard reads,” Bartley said.
“Offensively we had a tough game against the SES pitcher, who by far was the best arm we have faced this season,” he added.
Game two saw SES continue to pitch and hit very well against the Cowboys, winning game two 14-4.
Junior Chad Beetch started on the hill for Abilene in the nightcap and worked the first two innings allowing six Lancer runs.
Sophomore Colton Mills relieved Beetch and pitched three innings allowing five more SES runners to cross the plate.
Junior Caron Sherbert pitched the sixth inning for the Cowboys.
Offensively, the Cowboys had hits by Beetch, Prichard, Nolan Berry and Weston Riffel in the second game.
“Offensively we had a little better game than game one, we just couldn’t quite get it going,” said coach Bartley.
“The SES starter in game two also had a very good arm. He was a little more inconsistent in the zone than their first guy, but still very good,” Bartley said.
“I thought our guys battled well though at the plate,” he said.
“Defensively we were not very good; we struggled all night on just making the routine play. You cannot give a team, especially a good team like SES extra outs,” Bartley added.
“Overall, it was a disappointing night. SES was a good baseball team. Hitting wise, we just ran into some good arms and I tip my hat to their guys,” he said.
“Both of those games are different ball games if we take care of the baseball. Until our defense is able to play behind our pitchers we are going to struggle. Our defensive struggles the past three games is not a skill problem, it’s all mental. We have to believe in each other and believe in what we are doing out there,” coach Bartley added.
“I still believe we have a good team here, we just cannot quite make it over that next hump. We are close and I know our guys want to take that next step and they will. Great things are going to happen with this group of guys, they are too good for it not to happen,” concluded coach Bartley.
The Cowboys (3-3) will play at Clay Center Tuesday in a North Central Kansas League doubleheader.
Abilene 0 0 0 0 1 0 – 1- 2- 6
SES 1 4 1 1 0 4 – 11-13-2
LP: Combes (0-1) Game two
Abilene 1 0 0 0 1 2 – 4- 4- 5
SES 4 2 0 0 5 3 – 14-11-2
LP: Beetch (1-1)