, Muskogee, OK


March 11, 2013

Hilldale drops fourth straight game, falls to 1-4

Sometimes, it’s not doing the little things that costs a baseball team and for the Hilldale Hornets, that is what happened on Monday.

The Poteau Pirates put seven runs on the board, all with two outs, as they beat the defending Class 4A state champions 7-4 at Hornets Field.

“Last season’s over with,” said Hilldale coach Darren Riddle. “It’s a new season and we have to step up and do things correct.”

The loss dropped the Hornets to 1-4 on the season and extended their losing skid to four straight.

Devin Riede started on the mound and took the loss, pitching a complete game. He struck out two batters and five of the seven runs he surrendered were earned.

“It’s a learning process,” Riddle said. “We’ve got guys who’ve been in this situation before and we’ve got guys who haven’t been in this situation before.”

The Pirates opened the scoring in the top of the first. After Riede had retired the first two batters on fly outs, Poteau’s Jay Werner blooped a single to center and Michael Dihway reached after third strike eluded catcher Aaron Sanders. Blake Johnson stepped up and drove a single to right center to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

The Hornets came back in the bottom of the first and grabbed the lead from Poteau and it began with a lead-off walk to Miles Jackson. After Isaac Isham was unsuccessful in his attempt to sacrifice Jackson over, Hunter Harrison moved Jackson to third with a single to center and moved up a base on the throw to third.

Scott Rodden singled home Jackson with the Hornets’ first run and Harrison came home when Bill Muse grounded out the second. Rodden scored the final run of the inning on a single by Cameron Orman giving the Hornets a 3-1 lead.

The Pirates regained the lead for good in the second inning and the rally started after Riede had retired the first two batters. Mason Grimm induced a walk after falling behind in the count 0-2 and that led to a succession of six straight batters reaching safely and four runs crossing the plate, giving the Pirates 5-3 lead.

In the fourth inning, Poteau (4-1) finished its scoring. Werner extended the inning when he reached on a dropped fly ball by Rodden and came home on Dihway’s home run to left center.

“We haven’t performed fundamentally,” Riddle said. “From getting bunts down to catching fly balls to walking batters with two outs. There were several mistakes and you look up at the scoreboard and it’s 7-4.”

The Hornets looked like they might cut into the deficit in the bottom of the fourth when Orman and Colby Mullens led off with singles. But once again, a failed sacrifice attempt led to the first out of the inning and was followed by a successful sacrifice from Sanders and a groundout by Jackson to kill the rally.

In the sixth inning, Hilldale made its last serious threat when Orman, Mullens and Derek Altman reached safely to load the bases. Orman came home with the Hornets’ final run on a fly to center by Sanders but the rally was killed when Altman was called for interference trying to break up a double play.

“We had some hits and some walks and a couple of errors,” Riddle said. “We had our chances to score and didn’t.”

Hilldale has little time to correct those mistakes as it hosts Checotah at 4:30 p.m. today.

“We eliminate the mistakes, we got a chance to be a good team,” Riddle said. “Right now, we’re not playing like a good baseball team. We got to regroup and come back ready to play tomorrow.”

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