The Lone Tree Lions notched their first win of the season against the Wapello Indians on Friday, June 2, 8-5. This set the stage for their home showdown against the New London Tigers on June 5. New …
The Lone Tree Lions notched their first win of the season against the Wapello Indians on Friday, June 2, 8-5. This set the stage for their home showdown against the New London Tigers on June 5. New London, holding more experience with eight games, has a record of 1-7 entering this game. The Lions have not been allowed to truly settle into the season, seeing just four full games with one being postponed against Calamus-Wheatland in the fifth inning.
The Lone Tree Lions lost to the New London Tigers 6-2 after losing their 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
Both teams scored a run in the first, washing the New London opening run. Lone Tree took control in the second and saw a quiet third frame. The Tigers found a way to tie it in the fourth with a ball shot up the middle while junior Ethan Bockelman was pitching from the mound.
After another quiet inning in the fifth, New London rattled the junior on the mound, leading off the inning with a hit. This forced the Lions to pull Bockelman for senior Joe Boxwell. Boxwell could not stop the Tigers hot bats, allowing an RBI single after the Tiger base runner stole second and third base.
New London was very selective in what bases to steal and were very successful against the Lions on the bases.
A sacrifice out scored another, the first earned run against Boxwell. The next batter hit a ball dead center field, but senior Drew Gauley misplayed the ball and dropped it, an error that allowed another run. Boxwell would walk the next batter before forcing a pop out to end the inning.
If New London was doing well stealing bases, the Lions were struggling. Sophomore Jack Patterson was caught stealing in the fourth and Gauley was caught stealing in the fifth, both times ending the inning. Coming into this game, the Lions successfully stole 23 of 24 bases. This means that their struggles against the Tigers could be chopped down to the great play behind the plate for the Tigers, who consistently threw darts.
Entering the seventh inning, The Lions were down 5-2. In the top of the frame, an error allowed a Tiger on base. They stole second and third base and saw a wild pitch as their golden opportunity to steal home plate, giving them a 6-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lions needed a four-run rally. Junior Harry Brenneman led the inning with a walk and Patterson followed in suit. A wild pitch brought them into scoring position. Senior Caden Smith followed with a strikeout swinging. Gauley watched strike three and a foul tip against senior Matthew Heisted ended the game with two runners in scoring position and the tying run on deck.
The loss drops the Lions to 1-4 on the year, it’s still early. Bockelman and Hemsted lead the team in hits at four apiece. Bockelman has six RBIs, a team best.
The Lions look to rebound against the Winfield-Mt Union Wolves on June 6. As a way to finally settle in, the Lions get no rest, playing the West Liberty Comets on June 7, the Highland Huskies on June 8 and the Hillcrest Ravens on June 9. After the weekend, the Lions have one more matchup against the Burlington Notre Dame Nikes on June 12 before another two-day break. Coming off a 7-14 year, the Lions hope to change their fortune in the following week.
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