BETHEL – Bethel got off to a quick start, but couldn't maintain momentum in an 8-5 loss to Harrah Monday night at Bethel.
The game came down to a few too many missteps for the Wildcats, coach Lincoln Dearing said.
“We came out of the game really quick, and baseball's a game where you've got to be consistent,” Dearing said. “… I told them before the game, they're gonna make a mistake, we're gonna make a mistake. We've got to minimize our mistakes and capitalize on their mistakes.”
Cameron Egger hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the first and Gunner Smith followed up with a solo shot to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. Seth Jackson singled to short in the bottom of the third to bring in Smith and go up 4-1 but things went south in the top of the fifth.
Jaylon Gordon gave up an RBI double and a 3-run homer in the top of the fifth along with an RBI single to fall behind 6-4.
The Panthers added another homer off of Jake Williams to lead off the sixth and added a run with a double to third.
Smith hit another solo shot to left with two outs in the top of the seventh.
Smtih was 3-4 as the only member of the Wildcats with multiple hits and he and Egger each drove in two runs.
Gordon tossed for 4 1/3 winnings and gave up six earned runs on nine hits to take the loss. He struck out three and walked three. Williams threw for 2 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits, striking out two and walking one.
Dearing feels confident in his team's progress to this point and is confident in their progression.
“I think they're buying in and they're enjoying it, so I think we're progressing each game,” he said.
The Wildcats (1-1) are on the road today at Harrah. Ben Lauck will get the start on the bump.
The team will need to score a lot of runs and minimize mistakes to be able to win as the season goes on, Dearing said.
“When we get two outs, we've got to get that third out and not let it keep lingering around,” he said.