ALBION - One that got away.
Eisenhower squandered a 5-1 lead with a variety of errors and Northwestern stormed back to hand the Knights a 6-5 setback Wednesday in Albion.
"There really wasn't any reason that we should have lost this game," said Ike coach Jon Vincent. "They scored five runs off of three errors committed by us. On top of that, we struck out 14 times, including twice with the bases loaded. You can't win games when you do those kind of things."
The Knights (4-5) fell behind 1-0 in the first, but stormed back with four runs in the top of the second. Ryan Williams scored when a ball put into play by Jeb Fedorchuk was misplayed for an error. Two more Knights would score on passed balls and Aaron Jackson drove home a run with an RBI groundout to give Ike a 4-1 lead after two innings.
The lead was pushed to 5-1 in the third when Shane Arford led off with a walk and eventually scored on an RBI double by Trevor Spicer.
Things went south for the visitors in the bottom of the third when a routine pop fly turned into a three-run error.
"Trevor had been pitching a beautiful game until that point and really did well today," said Vincent. "They had two men on and two out and we had a routine Little League pop fly in the infield and we dropped it. That let them get right back into the game."
The Wildcats tied the game thanks to a Knights error in the fifth and went ahead on a suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth that had been set up by an Eisenhower error.
Jackson and Spicer each had two hits for the Knights. Spicer, Williams and Joe Rutsky all doubled in defeat.
The Knights (4-5) return to the diamond Friday, hosting Fairview.
EISENHOWER (5): ab-r-h-rbi: Hastings, 2b, 3-1-0-0, Deppas, 2b, 1-0-0-0, Lundmark, 1b, 2-0-0-0, Jackson, 3b-p, 3-0-2-1, Hunt, ss, 4-0-0-1, Rutsky, rf, 4-0-1-0, Arford, lf, 2-1-0-0, Williams, c, 4-1-1-1, Spicer, p-3b, 4-1-2-1, Fedorchuk, cf, 4-1-1-0, Totals: 31-5-7-4
NORTHWESTERN (6): ab-r-h-rbi: Panko, ss, 4-2-2-0, Klinger, 2b, 3-0-0-0, Finn, cf, 4-1-1-0, Morley, c, 4-0-1-1, Noe, 1b, 3-2-0-1, Carvana, 3b-p, 4-1-0-0, Niedermeyer, lf, 3-0-1-0, Cook, rf, 3-0-2-0, Maskrey, p-3b, 2-0-0-0, Totals: 30-6-7-2
Eisenhower 041 000 0 - 5 7
Northwestern 103 011 x - 6 7
2b-Rutsky (E), Williams (E), Spicer (E), Cook (N). WP-Carvana. LP-Jackson.
Fairview 2, Youngsville 0
FAIRVIEW - On the mound, Cory Craig has been lights out this season.
Once again, Craig pitched brillianty during Wednesday's game at Fairview. Once again, it came in a losing effort as the Tigers took advantage of some untimely Eagles errors to charge ahead for a 2-0 victory.
According to Youngsville coach Tom Craig, Youngsville's top pitcher hasn't allowed an earned run in his past 26 innings of work. Despite that fact, Craig is 0-3 on the season and his Eagles are 1-7 overall.
"I give Cory all the credit in the world because he doesn't get discouraged and gets firing away," said the elder Craig. "We just made some careless errors behind him and it cost us again today."
It didn't help that Youngsville's offense had to deal with Fairview pitcher Zach LaRocca. LaRocca was just as dominant as Craig, allowing just four hits over seven innings while striking out 16. Craig allowed four hits and no earned runs while striking out nine batters of his own.
Craig was also able to collect one of the four hits mustered by the Eagle offense. Caleb Linkerhof had two hits, including a double and Josh Lewis also singled.
Both of Fairview's runs came thanks to some sloppy Youngsville defense. Back-to-back errors in the second led to one Fairview run and a key two-out error in the sixth led to the other.
The Eagles will try to earn the season's second victory Friday when they host Rocky Grove in a rematch of last season's District 10 Class A playoff quarterfinals. Youngsville won that game, 3-1.
YOUNGSVILLE (0): ab-r-h-rbi: Marino, cf, 2-0-0-0, J. Linkerhof, 2b, 0-0-0-0, Turner, dh, 3-0-0-0, Lewis, ss, 3-0-1-0, Craig, p, 3-0-1-0, Horn, c, 3-0-0-0, C. Linkerhof, lf, 3-0-2-0, Dininny, 1b, 3-0-0-0, McLaughlin, rf, 3-0-0-0, Henry, 3b, 3-0-0-0, Totals: 26-0-4-0
FAIRVIEW (2): ab-r-h-rbi: LaRocca, p, 3-0-1-0, Connell, c, 2-0-0-0, Roberts, 1b, 3-0-0-0, Bo. Jackson, 2b, 3-0-0-0, King, ss, 3-1-0-0, Malthaner, 3b, 2-1-1-0, Jageman, rf, 3-0-2-0, Samsell, lf, 2-0-0-0, Be. Jackson, cf, 2-0-0-0, Totals: 23-2-4-0
Youngsville 000 000 0 - 0 4
Fairview 010 001 x - 2 4
2b-Jageman (F), Malthaner (F), C. Linkerhof (Y). WP-LaRocca. LP-Craig.