The Chillicothe High School baseball Hornets couldn’t quite take away late what they had given early in their 2012 home opener against Lawson yesterday afternoon at sunny “June”?Shaffer Memorial?Park.
Allowing an unearned run in each of the first two innings to fall behind 3-0, the Hornets came up one hit short of forcing the game into extra innings in the bottom of the seventh, stranding the would-be tying run at second as they lost for the first time this spring, 4-3 to the visiting Lawson?Cardinals.
Chillicothe (2-1) will try to play the second of three scheduled home games on consecutive days today, being due to host St. Joseph:?Benton in a 4:30 p.m. varsity/junior-varsity doubleheader at Shaffer Park.
After dropping back by three runs due to their defensive largesse yesterday, the previously-undefeated Hornets kept plugging away, scoring single runs in the second, fifth, and seventh innings. What proved to be the decisive LHS run came in the third on Kendall?Saunders’ 1-out RBI single to center that scored Blake Sellers from third base.
After Evan?Miller’s 2-out single plated?Austin?Hatfield from second in the home fifth to narrow Chillicothe’s deficit to 4-2 and relievers?Gabe Jeffries and Miller each had gone 12⁄3 scoreless innings to keep the Cardinals in range, the host Hornets used some help from the Lawson defense to try to snatch the game out of the fire.
Hatfield drew a leadoff walk from reliever Gunner Petty, who’d worked around a 2-out error and Jeffries’ single to left in the sixth. Designated hitter Jacob Lewis put the potential tying run on base with a single to left that allowed Hatfield to zip to third with no outs.
That kayoed?Petty and brought in sophomore Kyle Sellers, who got Miller to hit a comebacker on a 2-2 pitch that he converted into a 1-6-3 double play as Hatfield held at third.
D.J.?Gannan then slapped a fly ball the opposite way to left field, but the outfielder couldn’t secure it, his error not only allowing Hatfield to score and make it 4-3, but letting Gannan get into scoring position at second base.
Needing something from pinch-hitter Bobby Peniston, the Hornets came up short as B.?Sellers jumped ahead on the count 0-2 and Peniston tapped out to second on the next pitch to end it.
Chillicothe’s first run had scored in the bottom of the second, but it missed a chance to get more out of the frame.
After Gannan drew a leadoff walk, Reger hit a tap to the third-base side of the mound. Lawson starting hurler Blake Edwards, a righthander, tried to get to it, but couldn’t make connections right away. By the time he came up with the ball and threw to first, Reger was already there with a leg hit. The Hornets then got a bonus when the ill-advised throw got past the first baseman and Gannan went to third.
As Brennen Bonderer, the next batter, took a first-pitch strike,?Reger stole second as the LHS middle infielders let the ball go between them into center field. Gannan then darted home without a play, but Reger, after hesitating before starting to try for third, was cut down trying to get back to second. A 1-out single by Connor Ruoff after Bonderer lined out went for nought then.
Lawson’s Ashton Shelton used a passed ball and two CHS errors to score after starting the game with a single to center field, giving Edwards and the Cardinals a quick 1-0 lead.
A crazy, bases-loaded, none-out sequence in the top of the second inning resulted in Chillicothe getting out one out, but also allowing two runs, rather than the other way around.