PITTSBURG — It was a frustrating night for the St. Mary’s-Colgan baseball team, as the CNC champs had Carl Junction on the ropes in the seventh inning, but couldn’t record the final out with the lead intact in the 3-2 loss on Tuesday.
Down by one in the seventh, with the bases loaded, a full count at the plate and rally caps shaking inside the dugout, the Bulldogs came through with a two-run double to left field which ended up being the difference.
“Against good teams, you have to make every play and we had some plays we didn’t finish,” SMC head coach Mike Watt said. “We had two outs and had a couple walks at inopportune times which ended up hurting us in the end.”
After a pedestrian start to the game, the Panthers took a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in third inning.
The frame began with back-to-back singles by Austin Lindsey and Dominic Piccini, who scored on the strength of RBI singles off the bats of Garrett VanBecelaere and Tyler Brynds.
Carl Junction cut the deficit in half at 2-1 with a run in the fifth inning.
SMC was threatening in the bottom half of the fifth frame after Brynds single to right field and went from first to third on a double to left field off the bat of Simon Higginbotham, but the Bulldogs escaped danger by recording two consecutive outs.
With three outs remaining, the Panthers sat down the first two batters of the inning before giving up a single a pair of walks to load the bases.
The count grew to 3-2 before Carl Junction drove in two runs on a double to take a one-run lead.
Trailing for the first time in the game, the Panthers got a runner in scoring position after VanBecelaere drew a one-out walk and moved up to second on a single to left field, but couldn’t drive in the tying the run.
Brynds was the offensive catalyst for SMC, going 3-for-4 with an RBI.
VanBecelaere also drove in a run on one hit with two walks.
The Colgan starter Parker Wydick allowed one run on six hits with two strikeouts through five innings.
Dominic Piccini was tagged with the loss after giving up two earned runs on two hits with two strikeouts through two innings.
PANTHERS SPLIT WITH LANCERS
It wasn’t shaping up to be a great day for the Colgan softball team either, but the Panthers bounced back from a 15-6 loss against Southeast in game to win the rematch 4-3.
The Lancers exploded for 12 runs in the first four innings of game one, en route to cruising to a 15-6 win over the Panthers.
Katie Bitner was the offensive catalyst for Southeast, driving in six runs on three hits with three runs scored.
Kate Radell was the offensive leader for SMC, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Locked in a 3-all tie in the bottom of the seventh, Radell drove in the winning run on a defensive miscue to give the Panthers a 4-3 win.
Sophia Piccini led the Panthers at the plate, driving in two runs on one hit with a run scored.
Bitner had another good offensive outing for SHS, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The SMC baseball team will take one last road trip before the postseason, taking on Carthage at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.