Quiet bats and critical fielding mistakes in the 10th inning led to Centerville suffering just their second loss of the season in a 3-2 defeat to Mount Pleasant in extras.
Centerville’s two runs ties a season low, which they also had in their only other loss this season, also a 3-2 loss in extra innings. The loss also snaps an eight-game home winning streak that dated back to last season.
“We got pretty good pitching and defense most of the night just didn't have the offense going for timely hits. We came out pretty flat and it showed most of the game. That's on me, we have to have energy every inning and stay focused every pitch,” Centerville head coach Ryan Hodges said.
The Big Reds never trailed until the end but they did hold two brief leads throughout the game.
Brady Kauzlarich, who went 2-for-4 on the night, would come around to score Centerville’s first run in the first inning. The Big Reds had runners on first and third and Mount Pleasant would throw down to second on a steal, allowing Kauzlarich to race home for the opening run.
Mount Pleasant would then immediately answer in the top of the second on a Brennen Bender RBI double.
Centerville had runners on second and third with one out in the third as McCain Oden would hit a RBI sacrifice fly to score the runner from third before the runner at second was tagged out trying to tag up to third.
The following inning would once again see Mount Pleasant tie the game at two.
Oden got the start on the mound and would settle into a groove after some early trouble trying to find the zone consistently. He would go seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Both teams went down quietly in the seventh inning to send the game to extras. Kade Mosley came into pitch for Centerville and would strand Mount Pleasant runners on first and second in his first inning of work in the eighth.
Centerville then had a chance to walk it off but would strand Kauzlarich on second.
The Big Reds would then showcase why they have one of the best fielding percentages in the state in the ninth. Catcher Kolby Micetich gunned out a would-be base stealer at second for the first out. Kauzlarich then made a diving grab in the left-centerfield gap for the second out. The final out came at second after trying to pick off the runner at first. The runner would sprint to second on the throw but would overshoot the bag, allowing Otis Williams to tag him again for the final out.
Centerville couldn’t ride the momentum as they went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
After a fantastic defensive inning, Centerville made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes in the 10th. The first came on a shallow fly to center, which would end up dropping as Kauzlarich and Williams nearly collided.
Then with runners on first and third, Centerville would try to throw out the runner trying to steal second but would instead throw it into centerfield to allow to the go-ahead run to jog home.
That run ended up being the difference as Centerville stranded the tying run at first in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Mosley would take the loss and has now unfortunately been the losing pitcher in both of Centerville’s losses in extras. At the plate, Mosley was 2-for-4 as the Big Reds were limited to just five hits.
Centerville doesn’t have long to morn this loss as they will welcome a tough opponent which they lost to twice last season in Fairfield at home on Tuesday.
“I look for us to bounce back and learn from these close games to help us prepare for the next close games we will be in the rest of the year,” Hodges said.
No. 8 Centerville (15-2) are back at home on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for a doubleheader against Fairfield (12-3).