COUNCIL GROVE – The Abilene Cowboys baseball team dropped a non-conference double header to the Council Grove Braves, Tuesday in Council Grove.
Chase Stalder started on the mound for the Cowboys in game one of the double header.
“Chase didn’t throw badly, we just ran into some good hitters at Council Grove. We made a couple of costly errors followed by a free pass and then a couple of homeruns and found ourselves down 10-0 after two innings,” Coach Travis Bartley said.
“It makes it tough to get back in the game when you’re down like that after two and it kills you mentally,” Bartley said
Right fielder Chad Beetch was 2-for-2 with a walk in the opener.
Stalder, Grant Prichard, Tanner Hoekman and Hunter Combes all had base hits against the Braves but did not score for the Cowboys.
“The top of our lineup was seeing the ball well against their pitcher, we just couldn’t get anything going,” Bartley said.
“We can’t continue to give other teams extra outs, especially a good hitting team, or you will be playing catch up all night long,” he said.
Stalder pitched two innings allowing 10 runs on five hits, walking one and striking out two.
Logan Meuli pitched the third and fourth innings giving up four runs on two hits, walking five and striking out four batters in the run ruled shortened game.
The Cowboys jumped out quickly in game two scoring four runs in the top of the first on back-to-back singles by Stalder and Beetch and a three-run homer by Nolan Berry.
Prichard followed with a one out solo shot to make the score 4-0 Cowboys after one.
Abilene added single runs in the second, fourth and two in the sixth but fell to the Braves 9-8 in the nightcap.
Hoekman started on the hill for the Cowboys and pitched 2-1/3 innings allowing four runs on three hits, walking three and striking out two Braves batters.
Beetch relieved Hoekman and pitched the remainder of the game giving up five runs on five hits, walking three and striking out three hitters.
Beetch was 4-4 at the plate in game two while scoring once and driving in two Cowboy runners.
Stalder had three hits with two RBI’s, Berry was 2-3 with three RBI’s, Carson Sherbert and Matt McClanahan each had a pair of hits in the nightcap.
“I was happy for the way our guys competed in game two but we didn’t take care of the baseball and the errors we had hurt and ended up costing us the game,” coach Bartley said.
“I thought our pitching was good enough tonight to win the game but defensively we have to find a way to get it done. Offensively, it’s probably the best that we have swung the bats all year,” Bartley said.
“We pounded out 15 hits in game two, going forward we just have to find a way to get the job done defensively to win ball games,” he concluded.
Abilene (8-9) 0 0 0 0 0 – 0-6-4
Council Grove 3 7 3 1 x – 14-7-2
LP: Stalder (0-1)
Abilene (8-10) 4 1 0 1 0 2 0 – 8-15-4
Council Grove 1 2 4 1 0 1 x – 9- 8-2
LP: Beetch (0-2)