After Carl Junction scored four runs in the first inning, it looked like it would be long night for Republic. In the second inning, it looked like the weather might make it a short night for everyone. By the time the game had ended, Republic had overcome its deficit — not once, but twice — but Carl Junction struck the last blow in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 6-5 win Friday.
The Bulldogs jumped all over Republic starter Tyler Cavener in the first inning, scoring four runs on five base hits. A light rain started to fall before Carl Junction had finished batting, and picked up in intensity as the Tigers came to bat in the second. Republic immediately got two runs back with the helps of three walks and two Carl Junction errors, cutting the lead to 4-2.
Tim McWilliams came in to pitch the second and shut the Bulldogs down. He retired the first six batters he faced, while the Tigers continued to climb out of the hole. In the top of the third, the Tigers scored two more runs, with one hit, two walks, and a hit batsman.
Carl Junction retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth with the help of a couple of Republic fielding mistakes, including a pop-up that dropped on the infield.
The Tigers tied the game in the top of the sixth. Clayton Crowley doubled to lead off and scored on a two-out single by Easton Prevo.
But in the bottom of the seventh, the Bulldogs broke through for the game-winner. A single, a sacrifice, an intentional walk, and an infield hit loaded the bases, and Cooper Cook singled home the winning run to end the game.
McWilliams got the tough-luck loss, despite a stellar pitching outing.
“He got thrown in a tough spot, came into the game and gave us six innings there, and threw a lot of strikes,” says coach Curt Plotner. “He gave us a chance to win the game, so he did a good job.”
But ultimately, Plotner says too many mistakes cost his team the game.
“We messed up two bunt defenses there in a late-game situation when we knew they were going to be bunting,” he says. “We didn’t have a good approach when we have the bases loaded–we swung at a first-pitch curveball. It was just a lack of execution on things we’ve been working on.”
Jacob Crosswhite was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
McWilliams allowed two runs on four hits in six innings of work.
Republic falls to 4-7.