Abilene pitcher Keaton Hocker works on the mound in the opening 2-1 loss at Concordia on Tuesday.

CONCORDIA – Heartache and frustration continues for the young Cowboy baseball team as the club dropped a double-header Tuesday evening at Concordia.

Junior pitcher Keaton Hocker kept the Cowboys in a tight 1-1 battle through four and one-third innings. He was charged with an unearned run on four hits and he struck out seven. The Panthers later scored the winning run for a 2-1 seventh inning walk off victory.

“Keaton pitched well,” Abilene head coach Travis Bartley said. “That’s four starts in a row that he has given a chance to win. Defense kind of let us down at times. But this double-header and the double header at Marysville, we’ve shown we could play with teams.

“These kids have some skill. We are so young. They are still trying to figure it out and we have that dear in the headlight look sometimes. We panic and then it gets away from us.”

Concordia took the lead in its half of the second when pitcher Chase Parker led off with a single to left followed by a single off the bat of Panther catcher Tim Peltier. Tryston Jochems reached on a Cowboy error to load the bases. With two outs, Nick Vingrey popped a single past second to drive in Parker with the first run of the game.

Abilene came back to tie the game in the top of the third as Brett Ambrosier led off with a walk, advanced on a passed ball and a ground out. He later scored on a two-out single by Kaden Coup. The Cowboys had scoring opportunities in both the fifth and sixth innings but could not push a run across.

In the Panther seventh, Coup, who had relieved Hocker in the fourth, gave up a single to Jacob Williams to lead off the inning. Williams then stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout by Vignery. Chris Carlgren then pushed a groundball to the right side of the infield that enabled Williams to score on a bang bang play at the plate.

Parker held the Cowboys to one hit. He walked four and struck out six.

Vignery and Parker had two hits apiece for the Panthers.

This young Cowboy team desperately needs a win on the season and it looked like Tuesday could have been the best opportunity they have had recently. The game was well pitched by both teams and Abilene had multiple opportunities slip away from them.

In the second game, Concordia scored in each of the first five innings to earn an 11-5 win. The Panthers answered the Cowboys early two-run first inning with four of their own. They then added three in the second, two in the third and one each in the fourth and fifth.

Abilene pushed two runs across to open the contest as Hocker singled with two outs. Robbie Keener followed with a seven-pitch walk. Kaleb Becker reached safely on a dropped third strike by the Concordia catcher. Ambrosier lashed a single to left to score both Hocker and Keener for Abilene’s brief 2-0 lead.

Hocker drove in Coup, who had singled, for the Cowboys third run of the game in the second inning. Keener scored the Cowboys fourth run in the fifth inning after a two-out walk followed by a walk to Karsen Loader and an RBI single by Ambrosier.

Coup scored the Cowboys final run of the game on a four-base error made by the Concordia pitcher. With a hit down the first base line, Coup raced for the bag as the Panther pitcher launched a throw way over the head of the first baseman. The ball quickly rolled to the right field corner as Coup sped around the bases to score.

Becker started for the Cowboys on the mound and he was charged with seven earned runs on six hits over one and two thirds innings. He walked three and struck out one. Coup tossed the next two and a third and he allowed three runs on two hits. He did not walk a batter and he struck out two.

Ambrosier and Roman Sanchez each pitched an inning to end the game. Ambrosier gave up a run on two hits while Sanchez set the Panthers down in order, striking out two, in the bottom of the sixth.

Hocker and Ambrosier had two hits each for Abilene and Ambrosier drove in three runs.

Abilene is now 0-14 and will travel to Beloit on Friday.

“We just need a win,” Bartley said. “We have six games left before sub-state. We need to scratch out two or three wins out of those.”

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

Scoring Summary:

Concordia 2, Abilene 1

AHS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 – 1-1-2

CHS 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 – 2-6-0

WP: Parker

LP: Coup

SAC: Peltier (CHS)

Concordia 11, Abilene 5

AHS 2 1 0 0 1 1 0 -5-5-4

CHS 4 3 2 1 1 0 X – 11-11-3

WP: Jochems

LP: Becker

2B: Williams (CHS)

3B: Williams, Parker (CHS)

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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