LEBANON — It was a bit of dejá vu for the Lebanon baseball
team on Tuesday night.
The Tigers' offense went cold against an opponent's ace on
the mound, managing just two hits in a 5-0 loss to Crawfordsville. The Tigers
had several hard hit balls early, but couldn't get anything going on
Crawfordsville starter Trent Johnson.
"We came out with a great approach, an approach that we
worked on in practice," Lebanon coach Rick Cosgray said. "The kids
did a great job of executing, unfortunately we hit the ball right at
Crawfordsville didn't score in the top of the first inning
and Lebanon appeared like they could have a good day against Johnson in the
bottom of the first, despite not getting a hit.
All three Tiger batters hit the ball hard, but right at
Athenian defenders, including a line drive that was caught by a leaping Brendan
Dowell at short stop to end the inning.
"Last year, ultimately our breakdown at the end of the
year was our infield defense," Crawfordsville coach John Froedge said.
"We kind of started shaky this year, this was probably six games in a row
without an infield error. In high school baseball, that is pretty good. When
you can make the routine plays behind the pitcher, you have a chance to be in
Neither team was able to scratch out a run until the fifth
Sam Lucas drew a one-out walk and Johnson followed with a
dribbler in front of the mound that was thrown away to put runners on second
and third. After a walk loaded the bases, Caden Jones hit a grounder to first,
but Reid Schaller hesitated on the throw home and then didn't have a play
allowing a run to score.
Crawfordsville added a run in the sixth on a double by
Lucas, then scored three in the seventh on a RBI-single by Payten Abney and a
two-run double by Tommy Edwards.
Of the Athenians seven hits, four came with two strikes and
six came when they were behind in the count.
"That is nothing new for us," Froedge said.
"We work really hard with two strikes to put the ball in play. We missed a
couple chances early — we missed a couple of bunts and couple of signs — but we
finally got some two-out hits."
That was more than enough run support for Johnson, who
improved to 6-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 0.75.
He struck out nine and allowed just a two-out single in the
fourth to Tyler Welborn and a two-out single in the seventh to Evan Stambaugh.
Abney was 2-for-4 at the plate and Edwards was 2-for-3.
Jackson Bland took the loss for Lebanon, going five innings
and allowing one hit and an unearned run.
The Athenians (12-3, 6-0) and the Tigers (3-6, 2-4 SAC) will
match up again on Thursday at Crawfordsville.