A loud, festive crowd of approximately 250 fans showed up for the first baseball-softball doubleheader in McLouth High history, but both Bulldog teams were swept by the Rams.
This is the first year for both teams, thanks to fund-raising efforts by the booster club the past two years.
"I want to think our fans, our booster club, our parents, our community," McLouth softball coach and athletics director Keith Miller said. "They have been awesome about getting this program here. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. The support has been phenomonal. You couldn't ask for a better environment."
Baseball coach Cory Cole seconded Miller's delight with the fans.
"It's excellent," Cole said. "It's real exciting to come out and see a bunch of people in the stands behind the kids. They need a lot of support right now. They're going through a rough time."
The baseball squad dropped 16-1 and 13-0 games to Pleasant Ridge. Both games were stopped after five innings because of the mercy rule.
The Rams scored multiple runs in four different innings of the first game.
McLouth committed 10 errors in the first game and 23 in the doubleheader.
"The two things I hate the most are walks and errors," Cole said. "We had a lot of walks and a lot of errors our first game."
The Bulldogs (0-4) scored their lone run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Giovanni Byers. The senior outfielder finished the first game 2-for-2 with two singles and an RBI.
A few dozen fans were left in the stands at the end of the baseball doubleheader, showing their support despite the score.
"I'm glad to see them stay out here," Cole said. "They don't just stay a couple innings and leave. They stay out. They're proving to be great fans and I know the kids appreciate it a ton."
The softball team showed some jitters in its first game in front of the home crowd, giving up three runs to Pleasant Ridge (3-1) in the first inning. The Rams won, 6-3 and 4-0.
"We were a little nervous, but the girls settled down and they competed," Miller said. "We could have given up and it could have been 15-5, but they competed and we hung in there."
McLouth scored two runs in the second inning when Sherri Braksick and Tanisha Trackwell scored on an error by the Rams' first baseman.
Pleasant Ridge scored three more runs in the fifth inning, and Adrienne Guarino scored the Bulldogs' final run on an error in the bottom of the seventh.
"It was really exciting playing in the first home game," Guarino said. "I thought we did pretty good overall (and) we got a lot of experience this game. Hopefully we'll do better next time."
McLouth (1-2) fell victim to a big inning again in the second game, giving up four runs in the third inning. The Rams had just three hits in the inning, but the Bulldogs committed two errors.
"Any time you give a team like Pleasant Ridge, we added it up, seven extra outs over the course of a doubleheader," Miller said of his team's defensive woes, "you're going to have problems. We need to work on that."
McLouth could muster just a single by Felicia Freeman in the second inning.
"Obviously we need to work on hitting," Miller said, "but this is the first time we faced a quality pitcher."
Felicia Freeman (1-2) took both losses for the Bulldogs, pitching complete games in both contests.
"She continues to keep us in games," Miller said. "She's doing a great job for us and she's only a freshman so she's going to get better."
The team celebrated its home debut by dousing Miller with the contents of the water cooler.
"What are we going to do when we win?" a wet, laughing Miller asked after the impromptu shower.