CALAMUS- Positioning themselves perfectly for a chance at competing for a class 1A district 7 title, the Midland baseball team needed to take care of business against Lone Tree in a semi-final contest Tuesday, July 16.
That, however, proved easier said than done.
“We assumed going into this game that it would come down to who could hit and score more runs,” said Eagle baseball coach Josh Soper, as his team came up on the short end of a 10-6 decision against a scrappy Lion team that ended another solid summer on the diamonds for the Midland program.
“And that proved to be true. Credit Lone Tree. They out-hit us. We had opportunities throughout the game and had the right guys up at the right times, but just couldn’t get the timely hits.”
Lone Tree struck first plating a run in the top of the very first inning, but the Eagles quickly answered when Jensen Dodge walked, stole second and crossed the plate thanks to a Lion error off the bat of Britan Martens.
“Defensively, we had a really poor game as a team and gave up too many free bases,” said Soper, as five of Lone Tree’s 10 total runs were unearned.
“That is an area, pitching and defense, that we will really need to improve on if we want to take the next step forward.”
The Lions scored again in the top of the second to take a 2-1 advantage before plating four more in the third to begin to assume control of the contest.
But, back came the Eagles once again.
Sawyer Hansen and Dodge singled before Wilson Buckwalter walked to loaded the bases. Alex Smith hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Hansen before Martens reached on another Lone Tree error allowing Dodge to score.
Midland was right back in the game down just 6-3.
After Brett Schoenherr double in the bottom of the fourth brought Hansen home, the Eagles seemed to have seized momentum back trailing 6-4.
It didn’t happen.
After holding the Lion offense scoreless in the fourth and fifth frames, Lone Tree bats broke loose again in the sixth scoring three times before adding another insurance run in the seventh.
Midland did not go down without a fight however, as Hansen and Dodge both scored in the bottom of the seventh, but the last-gasp rally that saw the game-tying run reach the on-deck circle, would come up short.
“Proud of the effort,” said Soper, as his team wraps the 2019 campaign with a 17-17 overall record.
“It just wasn’t meant to be tonight.”
Hansen powered the six-hit Eagle offense going 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI while Dodge crossed the plate three times recording a hit and working two walks.
Dodge relieved starter Martens in the third inning and tossed the game’s last five frames allowing just one earned run while fanning two.”