A couple of weeks ago, Central beat Truman in a 12-1 run-rule blowout.
But due to a multitude of missed opportunities, the Indians’ late game run wasn’t enough to turn the tide in a 3-2 loss to the Patriots on Friday at Phil Welch Stadium.
Central coach Brent Seifert expanded upon the matchup, giving credit to Truman.
“I firmly believed they were a better team than what they showed the first time, and I think we saw that they are,” Seifert said. “They made tough plays and played well overall. Not to say we didn’t necessarily, but we just didn’t execute offensively.”
In a game won by the slimmest of margins, it was some early failures that doomed the Indians. Twice in the first three innings, Central managed to load the bases and was unable to come away with any runs.
When they found themselves in similar spots, the Patriots (8-12) were at least able to come away with one run.
Ultimately, the difference was just a few at-bats.
“We had a couple opportunities and didn’t get any runs out of them. That’s the big difference,” Seifert said. “We have to have more good at bats. We’ll keep preaching situational hitting and looking for location, looking for pitches we can do something with. So we’ll keep grinding.”
The Patriots tacked on a trio of runs early as their defense stymied Central.
With the game slipping away, the Indians showed signs of life by scoring two runs in the sixth inning. Forcing three quick outs in the seventh gave them a perfect opportunity for redemption, but when they reached the plate in the bottom of the inning they reverted to early game form.
WIth a runner on second base, the Patriots won the game on an infield fly.
Despite the upset, Central is still in good position. The Indians are currently in second place in Class 5 District 16 behind 16-4 Staley.
As the regular season winds down, senior pitcher Alex Caudill’s faith in the team is unwavered.
“We’re solid, we’ve got a few injuries but we’ve got some young guys who are filling in well,” Caudill said. “I still feel great about the team.”