Late inning execution has been a problem for the Washington baseball team for much of the 2014 season, and that trend continued Thursday night.
The Hatchets dropped to 8-12 with a 10-5 loss at the hands of North Knox (10-9), despite a gritty performance from junior starter Michael Ramsey on the mound. It was Washington’s first loss after winning three straight games.
Entering the seventh inning, Washington trailed 6-4 and had a comeback on its mind if it could just get through the 6-7-8 hitters at the bottom of the North Knox lineup. Ramsey retired Alex Plummer on a flyout to centerfielder Austin Moody and struck out Zach Dillon for the first two outs.
Ramsey then walked Brett Ridgway and hit Caden Fields with a pitch to bring leadoff hitter Hunter Jones to the plate.
Washington coach Steve Reed was concerned with Ramsey’s pitch count and he brought in Moody to get the final out of the inning. Moody, however, couldn’t find the strike zone. The freshman walked three consecutive batters to bring in three runs. Kaden Pfender relieved Moody and allowed an RBI single to Luke McKinnon to put the Warriors ahead 10-4.
“We just have to throw strikes,” Reed said. “You can’t go from 6-4 in the seventh to 10-4 — you just can’t do that in this game and that’s exactly what we did. I think they hit one ball in play in that inning and scored four runs. We stress with out pitcher, ‘make them earn it. Make them hit their way on and limit your errors.’ That last inning we just didn’t do it. I know guys are trying, but it’s all about producing. Bottom line is throw strikes.”
Washington loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but could only score one run — on a Zach Scheid sacrifice fly — to suffer another tough loss.