TERRE HAUTE — It would easy to point to the eight runs scored by Sullivan in the fourth and fifth innings for Washington’s elimination from the American Legion Baseball Sectional at Terre Haute North Sunday.
But it’s just as easy to look at missed scoring chances by the Freedom in the third and fourth innings for Sullivan’s 11-2 win in the first of two loser’s bracket games during a baseball trifecta.
Sullivan scored single runs in the first and third innings before the two-inning mid-game outburst that placed Washington in a hole that it could not escape.
“We missed some early chances that might have put a different face on the game,” Washington manager Jeff Truelove said. “You never know, but we didn’t have a lack of offense. We just didn’t enough hits at the right times.”
Sullivan scored its first single run in the top of the opening inning against Freedom starter Casey Miller, but the run was unearned and hardly Miller’s fault.
Freedom shortstop Jake Bedwell misplayed two balls in the inning that opened the door for Tanner Butler to bring home Casey Garner with a single.
Sullivan scored its second single run in the third as Dylan Collins opened the inning with a single before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyler Fulford, who reached first by dislodging the ball from Miller near the first base line on the attempted tag. But Washington catcher Gavin Benock caught Fulford straying from first for the first out before Butler walked.
The inning appeared innocent enough as Miller got Jacob Haugher to pop to Bedwell at short for the second out. But Miller then struck Noble Harrison and Trey Bedwell to force in the game’s second run.
Facing the win or go-home situation, Trulove called for Trevor Claridge to relieve, and Claridge got Cam Kuppler on strikes.