Fielding the ball cleanly is imperative to baseball success, and fielding let Barr-Reeve down Tuesday against Loogootee.
The Vikings (10-4, 4-1 Blue Chip) fell to arch rival Loogootee (7-5, 2-2), 8-6, Tuesday at Barr-Reeve behind five costly errors in a seven-run second inning for the Lions.
With the bases loaded and one out, Loogootee’s Will Nonte hit a fly ball to Barr-Reeve outfielder Myron Stoll, who dropped the ball, allowing Waylon Matthews to score the Lions first run of the game. Jesse Horney followed that with a sacrifice fly to score Trevor Resler.
Hayden Bell scored after catcher Lucas Graber threw the ball away on a third base steal attempt, and Nonte gave Loogootee a 4-0 lead when Barr-Reeve shortstop Brandon Wagler committed the third Viking error of the inning.
Senior Conner Wittmer’s single gave the Lions two more runs to push the lead to 6-0. Loogootee got its seventh run of the inning on another error, this time from thirdbasemen Jon McMullen.
“We have to field the baseball,” said Barr-Reeve coach Nathan Lester. “We were getting balls that we could make plays on, but we couldn’t make plays on them. Sometimes when that happens with these kids, they can’t figure out a way to stop it. We’re a better defensive team than that, and hopefully down the road we can clean that up.”
Barr-Reeve starting pitcher Stan Kemp exited after the second inning, and was replaced by the catcher Lucas Graber. To say Graber was a nice stopgap, would be an understatement. Graber pitched the next five innings, allowing just two hits and one run.
The Vikings got on the board for the first time in the third inning with an RBI single to left field by Brandon Wagler. In the fifth inning, Barr-Reeve clawed one run closer when Cain Miller scored on Heath Graber’s RBI double.
Loogootee answered with a solo home run from Hayden Bell in the top of the sixth.
Barr-Reeve scored four runs on two hits and two errors in the bottom of the sixth, capped off by Wagler’s bases clearing double to the left centerfield wall. The blast cut the lead to 8-6, and sent Loogootee to the bullpen to replace starting pitcher Matt Mathies with Horney.
“With the experience I got on the field, I expect better, they know I expect better,” said Loogootee coach Roger Bailey. “It’s going to be a rough two days of practice I can tell you that. Matt (Mathies) pitched well, and it’s a shame that you have guys behind you that don’t get the outs that he needs to save his arm and save him pitches. Hats off to Matt, he did pitch a good game today.”
Barr-Reeve couldn’t push across any more runs in the seventh, as Horney closed the door on the second consecutive loss for the Vikings. Barr-Reeve has committed 11 errors in the last two games.
“It’s just frustrating to look back at that second inning, and realize that’s what doomed you,” Lester said. “Give them credit, they took advantage of it. They did what they needed to do, they kept taking it on and putting pressure on us.”
Loogootee 070 010 0 - 8 6 3
Barr-Reeve 001 014 0 - 6 8 6
Mathies, Horney (6th) and Matthews; Stan Kemp, Lucas Graber (3rd) and Lucas Graber, Stan Kemp.
HR: (L) H. Bell, 2B: (B-R) B. Wagler, H. Graber.