Most of the time when a baseball team commits seven errors in a single game, it’s going to lose. So there’s no question Benjamin Russell was lucky to escape Friday night’s non-area game against Stanhope Elmore with a mark in the win column.
The Wildcats didn’t look their best defensively and their pitching struggled at times, but they still managed to earn a 7-4 victory over the Mustangs.
“Our defense was not good at all,” BRHS coach Richy Brooks said. “It hurt us and it kept them in the game because they didn’t hit it against our pitchers. Our pitching did a pretty good job, but we’re hitting too many people and we were hitting them on breaking balls.
“It’s hard throwing inside and (Thursday) we couldn’t really do bullpens. When you haven’t been on the field to throw and catch a baseball, that’s difficult. You can only do but so much inside.”
Stanhope (0-3) took advantage of the Wildcats’ miscues right from the get go. Alex Johnson and Bradley Dobbs had back-to-back singles to lead off, but that was the highlight of the offense for the Mustangs, who had just two hits the rest of the way. But that didn’t stop SEHS from collecting a few runs. With one out, Chase Eddings loaded the bases with a walk before a costly error allowed both Johnson and Dobbs to score.
Stanhope also had unearned runs in the second and fourth innings. None of the Mustangs’ scores were earned.
“We just had a different approach; we were coming out here and fighting,” Stanhope coach Wes Dunsieth said. “When they brought in their second pitcher (Cade Brooks), though, we started to change our approach for whatever reason at the plate, and it got us off balance. We had a chance to add runs and we didn’t, and that’s what ended up biting us in the bite.”
While Benjamin Russell’s defense helped keep Stanhope in the game, the Wildcats (2-1) got fairly decent pitching performances san three hit batters and four walks, and they also upped their game at the plate, collecting eight hits which was more than in their season-opening double header combined.
“We’re working on hitting; it’s a work in progress,” coach Brooks said. “We’re going to have some better approaches with the more balls we see and the more games we play. We came to win, and that’s what we did. You can always go fix things when you win better than when you lose.”
Trailing 3-2 after two innings, Benjamin Russell started to break the game open in the fourth inning by jumping on some error Mustangs. A walk, a Wilson Hays single and an SEHS errors loaded the bases with no outs. Brett Pitts then reached on an error that gave the Wildcats time to score a pair of runs to tie the game. They took a lead on a Brock Elliott single, and Ty Brown plated the eventual game-winner with a sacrifice fly to bring home Pitts.