Holding a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning, it seemed the Wapakoneta varsity baseball team had figured out its recent defensive problems, and was on its way to victory.
When it rains, it pours.
The Shawnee bats came alive in that sixth inning and they scored 11 runs in the frame, all but sealing the victory, 11-3.
“Kind of like what’s been going on,” Wapakoneta varsity coach Jason Brandt said. “We get one, get two, get three, get four errors that inning, and it led to 11 unearned runs that inning. To me that’s unbelievable. We talk about it, it’s one of those things that when one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong.”
Johnny Crawford pitched 5.0 innings and gave up 6 runs, none of them earned, before he was replaced in the middle of the 6th inning. Heading into the sixth inning, he had only given up two hits in the game.
Defensively, a dropped ball in the outfield and a missed throw on a possible double-play ball, set up the inning the Indians were looking for.
“I knew we were capable of this,” Shawnee varsity coach Scott Newman said. “I’ve known all along that we’ve had the bats to make that kind of inning a reality.”
Brandt said the defense needs to become a focus in practice the next several days, as they have now dropped four straight games.
The lineup for the Redskins looked a little different from normal, Tuesday, as Brandt shuffled a few guys around to try and find the winning combination. Nick Buchanan got the start at second base, Keaton Zweibel got the start at third base, Chandler Kaeck started at first base and Dylan Knoch was the starting DH.
“All of those guys did a good job, had some quality at-bats for us,” Brandt said. “We have to get someone that’s willing to step up and make that play that’s going to get us through that tough situation.”
The Redskin offense seems to have no trouble to start the game this season, as they have scored in the first inning of all six games they’ve had.
“It’s things like that that are positive for us,” Brandt said. “But the thing that bothers me, is that through six games, we’ve struck out 24 times with runners in scoring position. Even if we can put the ball in play, something might happen.”
Redskin batters struck out six times on Tuesday, but overall, they were able to send runners on base. The team on-base percentage for the game was .333.
“I don’t think our problem is getting guys on base, the problem is getting them in once they get on base,” Brandt said. “And our defense.”
Wapakoneta (2-4) will take a few days off to prepare for Friday’s game at Kenton.