Bat Pats’ win streak ends in loss to Ads

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Lincoln County Bat Patriots were unsuccessful in extending their winning streak to five games Wednesday, losing 8-5 to the Danville Admirals in the first 45th District game of the season.
Danville (6-3, 1-0 45th District) had to stage a late-game rally to earn the win, pushing across five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to turn a 5-3 deficit into a victory. 
The loss was Lincoln’s first in five games this season and the first time the Bat Pats (4-1, 0-1) scored fewer than eight runs in a game under first-year coach Tee Ellis.
While he said the Bat Pats didn’t play their cleanest game, Ellis was happy how his team performed through the first five-and-a-half innings.
“They came out and fought hard the first five innings, they played good baseball,” he said. “We didn’t play the best, we threw some balls away. … If we go in 4-0, 5-0 it might be a different game for (Danville), their heads are down more. But we did some good things early, especially against a good pitcher. We’ve got to capitalize on balls hit at us, routine plays.”
Lincoln went down 1-0 after Dmauriae VanCleave scored in the first inning, but the Bat Patriots responded with three runs – one each from Luke Smith, Hunter Jeffries and Josh Caudill – on two Danville errors in the top of the third to take a 3-1 lead. They added another run in the fourth when Caudill’s sacrifice fly drove in Jared Long for a 4-1 lead.
Lincoln starter Noah Horton held the Admirals in check for the first five innings, giving away three runs on seven hits and three walks.
Dampier scored on a Bric Mongeau double in the fourth to make it 5-2 then Danville got one more run back in the fifth when Ellison Stanfield drove in VanCleave with a single for a 5-3 margin.
But, after Horton walked the first batter of the sixth inning, Ellis pulled him from the game and replaced him on the mound with Jared Long.
From there, Danville’s offense blasted off. The Ads pounded out five hits and drew two more walks to score five runs in the sixth inning, turning a 5-3 hole into a win. 
Mason Schroeder got the Admiral scoring started in the sixth, hitting a single to bring home VanCleave, a pinch-runner, from second base. Schroeder went to second on the throw, and two batters later, Brian Baxa’s check swing turned into a single between first and second and Schroeder scored the tying run.
Jacob Crank came around for the winning run on a throwing error, and Stanfield’s double, his fourth hit of the day, brought courtesy runner Tanner Ford in from second. Stanfield scored the final tally on Alex Venables’ single.
Ellis took the blame after the loss, saying he’d like to have some of his pitch calls back.
“I made some bad pitching calls and they hit them, they’re a good team,” Ellis said. “We also made some defensive blunders. Focus every pitch, every pitch can be hit to you. … It seems like we couldn’t stop it when it started. That’s mostly my fault, maybe I should have made some better pitch calls, might have been a different outcome.”
Horton’s gave up seven hits, three earned runs, three walks and no strikeouts in six innings. Long took the loss, giving up four earned runs off five hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Long had a much better evening at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. His solo home run opened the sixth inning, giving the Bat Pats their 5-3 lead.
Stanfield went 4-for-4 for Danville while Crank and Baxa each had two hits. VanCleave scored three times with three stolen bases, all as a pinch runner.
Baxa got the complete-game win, striking out 13 batters and giving up three earned runs off six hits and three walks. He used his last nine pitches to sit down the Bat Pats on a groundout, strikeout and flyout.
*****
Lincoln   003  101   0   —   5   6   1
Danville  100   115   x   —   8 12   3

WP — Brian Baxa; LP — Jared Long.
2B — Josh Caudill (LC), Ellison Stanfield (D), Bric Mongeau (D).
HR — Long (LC).