Knights sweep two games from Tigers

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Mountain Home Tigers lost their SIC 4A conference baseball series to Bishop Kelly last week, as the Knights swept both games.

Bishop Kelly 14

Mountain Home 2

Mountain Home was hoping to make up some ground on league-leading Bishop Kelly last Thursday, but the Knights pounded out 14 hits in rolling to a 14-2 win over the Tigers in Mountain Home.

The Tigers trailed 6-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, and threatened to break it open, as they scored two and had the bases loaded with two outs and Chris Rau at the plate.

The Tiger freshman sent a fly ball to deep center field that the Bishop Kelly center fielder was able to run down and catch to close out the inning for the Tigers.

"If that ball falls in, it would have been a 6-5 ball game, and we would have felt a lot different about it," said Tiger baseball coach Travis DeVore, "but their center fielder ran it down and their kids responded by putting a bunch more runs on the board, and we just continued to be flat after that, so it was a rough one, but just another one of those learning experiences for us."

The Tigers managed just three hits in the ball game. Aaron Swartz, Brett Grodi and Chris Rau had hits for the Tigers. Brett Young and T.J. Miller had RBIs.

Michael Hobgood suffered the loss, his first in five decisions. The Tiger right-hander went five innings, giving up six runs on six hits. He struck out five, but hit four batters and walked two. Mike Anderson and Chris Rau also pitched in relief.

Bishop Kelly 8

Mountain Home 6

The Tigers went to Bishop Kelly last Friday needing a win to gain a series split with the Knights, and for the first few innings, Bishop Kelly was quite accommodating, committing eight errors to allow the Tigers to shoot out to a 6-2 lead through four innings.

In the bottom of the fifth, Michael Nelson led off with a single for the Knights. A hard hit ground ball by Seth Anderson took a crazy hop over Tiger second baseman T.J. Miller, ending what looked like could be a double-play ball. The Knights went on to get three more hits that inning, and scored five runs to take the lead, 7-6. They would add another run in the sixth to make it 8-6 heading into the seventh inning.

Mountain Home got a lead-off single by Aaron Swartz to start the seventh against Knights reliever T.J. Macy. Brian Fields then grounded into a a double play -- the fourth of the game for the Mountain Home against the Knights -- and there were two out with the bases empty. Macy then walked both Brett Grodi and Brett Young, but got Chris Rau to ground out to third to end the ball game.

"Bishop Kelly absolutely helped us out a lot in that game, the way they played defense early on, but you can't expect more than just a chance to win, especially against a quality club like B.K.," said Coach DeVore in radio comments after the game. "They gave us plenty of opportunities, and we had our chances, and on a couple different plays here and there, it's a much different game. I was telling the guys that baseball is just a game meant to break your heart. Seth Anderson's ground ball to T.J. (Miller), if that ball doesn't skip up, that's a double-play ball, and that's what got the whole inning going there, and there are little things that end up haunting you in your sleep after games like this, but we've got to learn from tonight.

"There were some good things. (Michael) DesPres pitched very well, certainly well enough to win that game. Our defense was much, much better than last night, despite some problematic things that we need to work through, but focus on ourselves, focus on ourselves getting better.

"On the flip side of that, that's the best B.K. team I've seen since I've been here in Mountain Home, and not just talent-wise, and they certainly have that, but they're a disciplined team, kids that are focused and respectful. It's an amazing group of kids in all facets of the game. It's a pleasure to play a team like that -- except when they beat you, of course."

Aaron Swartz had two hits for the Tigers and drove in three runs. Brett Grodi, Jacob Hiler, Joe Poseley and Chase Bitterman also had hits. Michael DesPres suffered the loss, falling to 2-4 on the season. He struck out nine and walked just one, and gave up 10 hits, three of them triples.

The Tigers hosted Borah in a non-conference game last (Tuesday) night, and go to Caldwell tomorrow (Thursday) to face the Cougars in conference play, returning home Friday to face the Cougars at home. The Tigers will also travel to Wood River on Saturday afternoon and play Hillcrest at 1:30.

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