Errors played a big part in the baseball game Thursday afternoon between host North Harrison and Salem, which Salem won 8-7. North Harrison was tagged with six errors, and Salem was tagged with four miscues.
Salem Lions coach Jamie Wilson said his team has benn “plagued by errors” this season, and added, “when they come for us, they come in bunches.”
Wilson added, “We were lucky we were able to play through it.”
North Harrison coach Gregg Oppel wasn’t feeling as fortunate where his team’s errors were concerned.
“You can’t make (that many) mistakes and hope to win ball games,” Oppel said. “And right now, we’re making more than the other team.”
Despite all of the errors the Cougars has made, Oppel pointed out that his team has been in every game they have played “but one.”
The Cougars were in the game with Salem, especially early. They struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Josh Wenning was walked, and the stole second base. After one out, Dylan Janes doubled in Wenning. Lincoln Jones then singled to right field, and Joe Bolin reached first base after being hit by a Salem pitch. Chad Eveslage then drew the second out when he was put out on a fielder’s choice, scoring Jones.
Salem got on board in the top of the third frame when Hayden Burton singled, and stole second base. After two straight outs by Salem, Brent Ingram got a two bagger, scoring Burton.
Salem avoided any North Harrison runs in the top of the fourth, but Salem scored a lone run again in their half of the inning. After one out, Nick Rainey reached first after being hit by a Cougar pitch, and then went to second base. After another second Salem out, Josiah Farnsley singled, scoring Rainey. Farnsley then was out on a fielder’s choice, for the third Salem out of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cougars scored a pair of runs again, when Mitch Bolin and Jordan Robbeloth scored off of a single by Book.
The coup de grace for both teams occurred in the top of the fifth, when Salem sent four runners across the plate. Brock bush reached first when he was hit by a North Harrison pitch, and Christian Chastain singled, scoring Bush. Ingram then reached base off of an error on the Cougar’s first baseman, and he then stole second. Cody Crady then singled, scoring Chastain. Keith Abel doubled, scoring both Ingram and Crady. Three straight Salem outs then drew the inning to a close.
“We put together a few runs that inning,” said Wilson. “Their (North Harrison) pitcher was struggling and we took advantage of it.”
North Harrison picked up a lone run in the bottom of the sixth, when book singled in Wyatt Faith, who had reached first on an overthrow by the Salem third baseman.
Salem took the lead for good in the top of the seventh with another pair of runs. Ingram tripled, and Crady singled, sending Ingram home for the first run. Crady then went to third base on a throwing error, and Abel then hit a sacrifice fly to score Crady. Salem then had three straight outs to end the inning.
North Harrison tried to rally in the bottom of the inning, but they were able to muster only a lone run. Mitch Bolin doubled, and Robbeloth singled in Bolin for the final run.
Oppel has seen his team struggle this season, but he isn’t giving up on them. He notes the strength of his schedule and said that they don’t hide from anybody.
“We play a real good schedule,” Oppel explained. “We’ve been in every ballgame. Mentally, it’s tough to keep coming up short, and keep coming up with the effort, but we do.”
Wilson thinks that if they can back up their defense can improve, and start backing up their offense, they will be much better off.
“We struggle to put a whole game together,” Wilson explained. “The defense is not always there.”