LJWorld.com weblogs The Dividing Line
Free State baseball has terrible luck
There's plenty of types of bad luck. Sometimes when you're playing poker, you just can't get the right cards. Sometimes you forget your umbrella when it rains. Then there's what happened to Free State's baseball team on Thursday.
The Firebirds stranded 13 runners on base, including eight in scoring position. Ultimately, it didn't cost them because Cooper Karlin hit a walkoff single in the eighth inning and FSHS had excellent pitching from Parker Tietjen and Casey Hearnen.
"It’s just the way it goes sometimes," FSHS coach Mike Hill said. "There were times where we hit the ball fairly decently. Having said that, there were quite a few opportunities that were just squandered. I think probably when you’re in that situation, people begin to press a little bit. There was probably a little bit of that going on, but again they persevered and got it done there during the eighth."
However, to prove how remarkable it was that the Firebirds didn't score a run before the eighth inning, I'm going to breakdown what happened each inning:
1st: Joel Spain hits a leadoff single, and is moved to third two batters later, on a single by Cameron Pope. Zach Bickling hit a shallow fly ball to right, and Spain couldn't tag, then Hearnen flied out to right.
2nd: Jacob Pavlyak drew a two-out walk, and was singled to second by Ryan Cantrell. Both Pavlyak and Cantrell moved up a base on a wild pitch before Spain struck out.
3rd: With one out, Cameron Pope was hit by a pitch. However, a fly out and strikeout ended the frame without him advancing.
4th: Ty Walmsley hit a one out single and stole second. Next, Pavlyak drew a walk, and both of got into scoring position after a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Spain drew a walk to load the bases, but Karlin popped out.
5th: Pope hit a leadoff single, and advanced to second, after a failed sacrifice bunt, on a passed ball. Pope made it to third on a wild pitch before Hearnen walked. With one out, a pop out in the infield and a routine fly out ended the inning.
6th: Spain tried to start a two-out rally with a single. He stole second and made it to third on a wild pitch. After Karlin walked, Pope popped out to the pitcher, who nearly dropped the ball as he retreated backwards to make the catch on the left side of the infield.
7th: Bickling opened the inning with a walk, and moved to second on a nice sacrifice bunt by Hearnen. A line out and fly out ended the threat.
"Normally we’ll catch a break in there at least, it was different today because we didn’t," Karlin said, "but we kept fighting so that’s all that matters."
Hitting with runners in scoring position (including the 8th): 1-for-11 (.091). Oof. Yes, you can tip your cap to the pitcher and defense, but that's also a lot of bad luck.