Baserunning blunders hurt Huskies in 7-4 loss to Rogers (Ark.)

The varsity baseball team fell to 5-2 on the season after losing to Rogers (Ark.) High School in a game as part of the River City Festival at Lawrence Free State Thursday night. Senior Max Abramovich took the loss, dropping his record to 2-1.

Gabe Swartz, Editor-in-chief

What seemed like an innocent ground ball to senior second baseman Drew Black began the start of a chippy back-and-forth game between one of the top ranked teams in Arkansas, Rogers High, and the Huskies of Blue Valley Northwest- one of the top ranked teams in Kansas. While the scorebook would show a fielder’s choice 4-6 at second base, a Rogers High batter ran through first base and spiked BVNW senior first baseman Holden Missey’s ankle.

As Missey leaned down to display the part of the base in which he felt the Mounties runner should have taken, senior pitcher Max Abramovich let his feelings known. The play came during an arduous 35-pitch third inning for Abramovich, which saw Rogers High score four runs on five walks and a hit by pitch. Senior catcher Clayton Leathers said he felt Abramovich’s struggles on the mound- he went 3 ⅓ innings, allowing 2 hits, 7 walks and 6 earned runs- could be drawn up to an inability to find the strike zone.

“I think at the end of the day it was just mechanics,” Leathers said. “We just couldn’t throw strikes and that was different. The mentality wasn’t different in the dugout. I think the energy was great… and I mean not every night are we going to have our stuff.”

“I think Max would be the first one to say he probably didn’t have his best stuff tonight,” head coach Corby Lange said, “but I thought he competed. If anything, he probably tried to do a little too much.”

After the spiking incident at first base in the third inning and a few other incidents of chirping between the two dugouts, the umpiring crew had to speak to each bench and settle things down.

“It was a very intense game I felt like from both teams,” Missey said. “I think both teams respected each other as far as like both teams knew each other were good. And you know I think it did get a little chippy. I mean it was both ways.”

With emotions running high, Lange said the team must do a better job of staying composed in similar situations in the future.

“I think the issue today was that we just kind of got a little bit away from ourselves,” Lange said. “I think being competitive is great, and I think it was a competitive ball game between two good competitive teams and I think sometimes you get a little focused too much on what the other teams doing and what you think they should be doing, versus just doing what you do well. I think it was a good lesson in that and we’ll bounce back.”

In spite of all the extracurriculars during the contest, the Huskies still opportunities in multiple innings in which baserunning gaffes cut a few rallies short. In the top of the third inning it was junior Ryan Freiermuth getting picked off from first base with a runner on second to end the frame. With the bases loaded in the top of the fourth inning and senior Josh Fiene at the plate, sophomore Matt Miller was picked off from third base, ending another BVNW scoring threat.

“You never like to see yourself taken out of an inning,” Lange said. “We just ran into some situations and they put good plays on, tip your hat to them.”

Altogether, the Huskies left eight men on base for the game, and despite outhitting the Mounties 7-5 in the game dropped their second game of the season. With the loss, the Huskies record goes to 5-2 on the season. Friday, April 20, the Huskies will pick up their game against Blue Valley High which was rained out during the sixth inning on April 13.

“They had three more runs than us, that’s all that really matters,” Missey said. “We got a lot of guys on base and so a couple hits here or there, you know and that game’s a different story.”