Sequoya, Okla. Two days after opening the season with a victory, the Free State High baseball team dropped its first game of the year on Friday, 3-2, to host Sequoya High at the Claremore 4-State Baseball Festival.
Despite jumping out to a 2-1 lead through three innings, the Firebirds’ offense leveled off after that and was held in check the rest of the way. Free State left five runners on base throughout the game and that left the door cracked for Sequoya to stage a late comeback.
“We had several opportunities,” Free State coach Mike Hill said. “We just couldn’t get it done offensively. We couldn’t get control of the game and that’s an obvious sign that it’s early.”
Free State picked up RBI singles from Cody Kukuk and Adam Petz — both 1-for-3 on the day — and also received offensive production from Connor Stremel (2-for-4, two stolen bases) and Tim Lewis (1-for-2, one triple and one stolen base).
Defensively, the Firebirds were strong for five innings but struggled to finish the game. An error and a miscue in the sixth allowed Sequoya to tie the contest in the bottom of the sixth and another error in the bottom of the seventh led to the winning run.
“Defensively, I thought we played well but we had a couple of errors (late) that cost us,” Hill said.
J.D. Prochaska started and pitched into the fifth for the Firebirds. Hayden Emerson relieved him and picked up the loss.
Free State (1-1) will continue play in the tournament at 9:30 today against Glendale High, of Springfield, Mo.