LOOGOOTEE — The opening game of every baseball season bring hope and promise, but that can change quickly.
Loogootee fell 8-7 to West Washington after blowing a four-run lead in Tuesday’s season opener at Les Page Field.
Despite holding a 4-0 lead through three innings, the Lions trailed 8-5 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Senator pitcher Chase King had trouble throwing strikes and Loogootee capitalized. The Lions scored a run on a bases loaded walk and a hit by pitch to cut the lead to 8-7 with two outs and Branden Wilz at the plate. For the third time in the game, Tyler Holliday took the mound for West Washington. Wilz made good contact and drove the ball down the left field line, but Barry Dixon made a running catch to give the Senators their first win of the year.
“First game out you never have any idea what you’re going to see,” said first-year Loogootee coach Luke Woolems. “We gave them some things that we didn’t want to give them and we compounded some of our own mistakes and all we can do is learn from them and get better as the season goes on. These are tough kids, they expect to win a game no matter what the score is. I was standing over at third base and I was thinking we’re going to win this game and I think our kids thought we were going to win the game.”
Entering the sixth inning, the Lions held a slim 4-3 lead, but it had its best pitcher — Gabe Nolley on the mound against the bottom of the West Washington lineup. After striking out John Brennon and Brady Brown, the Senators put the next two batters on base with a single and a walk to put the pressure on the Loogootee defense.