The Warrenton VFW Post 2180 Seniors struggled to figure out Elsberry pitching in Monday night’s 6-1 home loss.
Elsberry hurlers struck out 11 Warrenton batters during the District 9 matchup at Warrenton High School.
“He’s above average for what we’ve faced over the course of the summer, and he had pretty good stuff tonight,” Warrenton’s Clayton Schowe said of Elsberry starter Carter Bauer after the game. “Then we had a slow start and we were a little lackadaisical at the beginning, knowing we were missing a few starters, and I think we were just kind of going through the motions.”
With pitcher Eli Ecton and outfielder Cody Herzog gone, Warrenton shuffled its lineup around while giving a handful of reserves the chance to start.
Schowe also received the start on the mound for the first time this summer.
It was his first start in over a year, and he had to work around four walks in the second inning.
Elsberry capitalized with four runs in the frame to take a 5-0 lead.
“I pitched a few innings earlier in the year, but this was the first game where I knew I was going to have the ball in my hand,” Schowe said. “It was a rough start, but looking back, if I straightened out a few things earlier, we would have been looking at a 2-1 ballgame with a chance to make something happen. So hopefully my next start I come out early and start pounding the ball from the beginning.”
Schowe struck out five and walked five in four innings of work.
“I just told the defense to be ready for balls because I just wanted to go out there and have fun,” he said. “I wasn’t going to get too down if anything bad happened, and that’s kind of the mentality I had. I wish a few things had gone a little bit differently, but I can’t be too disappointed. My strikeout-to-walk ratio can be a little bit better, but that will come with time.”
Third baseman Chris Garrett led the Warrenton offense with two hits.
Jonc Pender added a walk and stolen base, and Eli Moehl reached base twice via errors.
Moehl also relieved Schowe on the mound, striking out six in three innings.
Warrenton returns Saturday night to face St. Charles at Blanchette park.
“As the game went on we started putting the ball in play more often,” Schowe said, “and if we had come out like that and more focused in the beginning, I think we would have been better off.”