Boys Varsity Baseball · Bruins Play Well, But Come Up Short

The Bruins played a very good team in Adams Central (15-7) pretty well, but in the end, mistakes cost them a 5-4 loss. Caleb Mealy led the Bruins going 3-4 with a walk, stolen base, and an RBI. Josh Jennings pitched four innings allowing three runs of which two were earned. Peyton Hurd took the loss in relief.

With the score knotted at zero heading the bottom of the fourth, the Jets took advantage of two errors to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Bruins would respond with four of their own in the top of the fifth much in part to three errors by the hosts. Josh Jennings singled home Jake Ross to get the Bruins in the board. Ross had doubled and took third on a wild pitch. Brandon Stroble singled an moved to second on Tyler Cagle’s sacrifice bunt that was misplayed by the pitcher. After a Shane Elam bunt, Stroble scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Cagle would then score on a two out strikeout by Drew Caldwell when the ball got away from the catcher and Caldwell beat the throw to first. A Caleb Mealy double scored Caldwell and the Bruins led 4-2.

Adams Central got another gift from the Bruin defense when the ball got away from Drew Caldwell on what looked to be a runner thrown out at second by Caleb Mealy. The runner was ruled safe and when the ball got away, the Bruins were caught napping, and the runner from third scored to make it 4-3.

The Bruins had bases loaded and one out in the top half of the seventh, but Tyler Cagle struck out and Shane Elam tapped a ball in front of the plate that the catcher pounced on and stepped on the plate the end the inning. “We missed a huge opportunity to increase our lead, but we failed to get a bunt down and Shane’s ball just didn’t get far enough away from home plate,” Uggen said.

The Jets tied it off reliever Peyton Hurd in the sixth. After a one out single, a single to right ended with a poor throw back from the right fielder when he over shot the cut-off man allowing the batter to scamper to second. Drew Caldwell then made a great play at the plate on a ground ball that caught the slow reacting runner from third at the plate for the second out, but a 2-out hit tied the game. “The overthrow on the single cost us a run. Had that not occurred the runner would have been at second rather than third and probably would not have scored on the hit. We don’t try to make mistakes, but that one really hurt. We work on it in practice, but we just can’t seem to grasp the importance of making precise throws from the outfield to keep runners in force situations. We misfire and it comes back to haunt us,” Bruin skipper Tony Uggen noted.

Adams Central got a lead-off double on a ball that a diving Brandon Stroble couldn’t quite come up with. After an intentional walk, a sac bunt put runners at second and third with one out. After another intentional walk, the Jets got a sharp ground ball to Blaine Riddle, who couldn’t come up with it, allowing the winning run to score and the Bruins lost a tough one 5-4.

“Again, we played pretty well for 95% of this game, but our mistakes at the most inopportune times are still biting us. I applaud the overall effort because we played a pretty good team very well. We just can’t quite get over the hump,” Uggen shared. The Bruins also played the game a man down as shortstop Braxton Strait did not make the trip due to illness.

“If there is a silver lining, I thought Josh (Jennings) and Peyton (Hurd) threw pretty well overall. They are both sophomores and have really given us a boost down the stretch. They may actually be our #1 and #2 pitchers right now. And Caleb is starting to get hot and he’s another sophomore which bodes well for the future. We just have learn to play with a bigger sense of urgency and fix the mental and physical lapses that are hurting us. In other words, that 5% of the time we check out. I still think we are pretty good team as we have played some very good teams pretty well. We just have to continue to improve but time is running out. Sectional is next week,” Uggen concluded.

The Bruins (10-15) host Rossville at 6pm tomorrow night at Bruin Field.