Warriors Let Late Lead Slip Against St. Charles

By Derrick Forsythe, Record Sports Editor
Posted 11/7/19

It was difficult for the Warrenton baseball team not to walk away from Tuesday’s meeting at St. Charles with their heads hanging. The Warriors saw a two run lead fade away late in the game, falling …

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Warriors Let Late Lead Slip Against St. Charles


It was difficult for the Warrenton baseball team not to walk away from Tuesday’s meeting at St. Charles with their heads hanging. The Warriors saw a two run lead fade away late in the game, falling 3-2 to the Pirates through eight innings. Coach Eric Burle is hopeful his crew will recognize the positive areas it displayed during the GAC North contest. He says his team is still lacking the offensive power to routinely put itself in the win column. “I just hope they realize that there’s definitely a lot of upside,” said Burle. “We’re playing with a lot of youthful guys that this is their first time around in situations like this at the varsity level ... Hopefully, they do realize we do have the potential to be a good time.” The Warriors have been competitive in each of their games and have not been subject to a blowout defeat yet this season. On Tuesday, Warrenton looked to senior Nick Shough for guidance on the mound. While pitching to contact, Shough was able to rely on his defense to make crisp plays and quickly work through the innings. The pace of the game was particularly fast until about the fifth inning, when St. Charles finally got comfortable with Shough’s pitching style. Burle felt like the familiarity factor allowed the Pirates to start generating hits, and the momentum began to shift. “I think it was just getting through the lineup the third time around, they started hitting a little bit,” said Burle. “Chad (Berrey) came in and did a good job of slowing down the bleeding a little and giving ourselves a chance to hit in the top of the inning.” Warrenton led 2-0 heading into the fifth inning. The Warriors had collected one run in the top of the first inning. Junior Jake Shough walked in the lead off spot. He was forced out at second on a hit by junior Chad Berrey. Berrey eventually rounded the bases and scored on a single by Nick Shough. St. Charles left runners stranded on first and second base during the second inning thanks to the solid effort of Warrenton’s outfield. “Our pitching and our defense did the job,” said Burle. “Our defense has done it all year to this point, and our pitching for the most part, has done a good job.” The Warriors built their advantage to 2-0 in the third inning. Jake Shough singled a ground ball to centerfield, and Berrey by hitting to a similiar location. Junior Chris Hertel then drove in Shough on a sacrifice. “We had a couple of guys have a nice night at the plate that having been hitting all year,” said Burle. “Chad and Nick hit the ball on the nose a number of times.” St. Charles pushed runners to second base in both the third and fourth innings but didn’t manage to advance anyone home until the fifth inning. Following a walk, St. Charles knocked a conveniently placed hit into right field, resulting in an RBI triple. “They hit the ball on the nose,” said Burle. “Early on in the game, we were able to make some plays. They were able to find some holes later on in the game.” Warrenton took a 2-1 edge into the sixth inning, where it would leave runners standing on second and third base. Looking back, Burle says his team struck out looking too many times instead of giving itself a chance at the plate. “We just couldn’t capatilize,” said Burle. “It’s kind of frustrating, because we’ve talked about taking pitches. I don’t know how many times we’ve struck out looking. That’s been an issue to this point in the season and has slowed us down offensively. We’re taking a lot of strike threes instead of going up there and fouling a couple of pitches off.” Nick Shough led off the inning with a double to left field, but his efforts would come up empty, as the Warriors grounded out to end the inning. St. Charles managed to tie the game in the sixth, after a pair of walks and a sacrifice. During that stretch, Berrey came in to relieve Shough on the mound. “I think Nick was starting to get a little fatigued and started putting the ball up in the zone,” said Burle. Shough gave up five hits, while walking three batters. The pressure began to mount against Warrenton in the final few innings, as the Pirates loaded the bases in the seventh. But the Warriors’ defense was prepared for at least one more stop, forcing the game into extra innings. Berrey walked one and allowed five hits as well. St. Charles caught fire during the eighth, collecting three straight hits to begin the inning and scoring the winning run on a single to left field. “We’ll be fine,” said Burle. “We’ve just got to get our offense going. Once we do that, we should be pretty solid.” Berrey finished with a pair of hits, while Jake Shough and Nick Shough each added one hit.