After missing out on several chances to open their 2012 season at their home field in “June Shaffer Memorial Park and then winning on the road in their delayed first two outings, the Chillicothe High School baseball Hornets beat the weather three times this week.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t come up with a way to beat the team in the other dugout.
Home proved to be anything but sweet for second-year head coach Mike Lewis’ CHS club again yesterday as St.?Joseph:?Lafayette’s Fighting Irish came to town on an overcast day with a cool breeze and claimed a 4-2 non-Midland Empire Conference triumph.
The third loss at home in as many days plunged the Hornets below .500 at 2-3. They’ll try to regroup in practices between now and their next scheduled game, a week from today at home against Cameron.
Following that, they’ll enter the annual?Marshall Invitational tournament the next day, playing Windsor at 12 noon and the host Owls at about 5 p.m. that Friday.
Yesterday’s defeat again saw the Chillicothe offense mostly impotent after going for double-digit runs in each of the first two road-game triumphs.
After netting single tallies in each of the first two innings against Lafayette pitcher Jarred Byars, the Hornets were blanked on two hits by the Fighting Irish hurler the rest of the way. Meanwhile,?Lafayette tied the game with two runs in the third, took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, and added an insurance tally in the sixth to win.
With runs tough to come by when they are batting, the Hornets did themselves no favor by committing four errors, one of them leading to the unearned final LHS marker.
After CHS starting pitcher Troy Toedebusch (1-1) worked around a first-inning error by stranding two runners in scoring position with a comebacker for the last out, an again-revamped Hornets batting order produced the game’s first run.
With senior outfielder/pitcher Guy?Vinson away on an academic trip, junior Connor Ruoff moved from the No. 9 spot in the lineup Monday and out of the lineup Tuesday to No. 2 yesterday and tagged a 1-out single to get the Hornets started.
An infielder’s error on Austin Hatfield’s ground ball allowed Ruoff to speed to third with one away.?From there, he scored easily on cleanup man Jacob Lewis’ line-drive single to left field. Hatfield reached third on the hit, but then was doubled off on a line drive to spoil the chance for a big opening frame.
Toedebusch put up another goose egg in the top of the second and Chillicothe’s hitters responded by giving him another run to work with.
Brennen?Bonderer led off the bottom of the second inning with a double to center field and took third on a ground-ball single to left by Larry Hooper, a move-in who got his first start. When junior catcher Trey VanHoutan grounded out to shortstop, Bonderer crossed the plate for a 2-0?CHS advantage. Hooper then was stranded at second.
Page 2 of 2 - The Hornets’ failure to capitalize more on their chances in the first two innings soon turned around to bite them.
Facing the top of the LHS order for a second time,?Toedebusch was tagged for hard ground-ball basehits on two of the first three pitches he threw in the top of the third and both men would come around to score.