Tigers manage just two hits in two games
The Mountain Home Tigers continue to struggle at the plate as they managed just two hits in two conference losses to Bishop Kelly last week.
Bishop Kelly 11
Mtn. Home 1
The Tigers lost to Bishop Kelly 11-1, Thursday night at Mountain Home in a game stopped after five innings by the 10-run rule.
Mountain Home's Gabe Anderson and Bishop Kelly's Justice Mariscal were involved in a good pitching duel through two innings, but the Knights got to Anderson for five runs in the third inning, and then added three more in the fourth before Anthony Castillo was able to end the outbreak. Bishop Kelly scored three more in the fifth off Castillo.
The Tigers' lone run -- unearned -- came in the third off Knights' pitcher Justics Mariscal, who allowed just one hit in the game -- a single by Ricky Lee.
"Obviously, Bishop Kelly's a quality squad, the defending state champions, and we didn't play as well as we could and they certainly showed us what they're capable of," said Coach Travis DeVore.
"Hats off to them, they swung the bats in that third inning, after Gabe was really cruising, not taking anything away from Gabe at all, because he threw well, but we obviously have a lot of improving to do.
"I knew going into the season that we were going to be a little bit behind with our bats, and this is the first game where I think we saw that, but when you face qualilty pitching, that's when it's really going to be exposed."
Friday's game at Bishop Kelly was a great pitching duel between Mountain Home's Eric Christiansen and Bishop Kelly's Nico Lytle, with a seventh inning rally cut short for the Tigers, as Bishop Kelly won it 2-1.
Bishop Kelly put together a walk, a hit and an error to score a run on a ground-out in the third inning. They got to Eric Christiansen for three straight hits to score another run in the fifth to go up 2-0.
Eric Christiansen doubled down the third base line with one out in the top of the seventh to break up Nico Lytle's no-hitter. Back-to-back errors by Bishop Kelly helped the Tigers score a run, and Anthony Castillo worked a walk off Lytle to load the bases with two out, but the 6' 8" senior struck out Shawn Lewis to end the inning and the ball game.
"I'm really proud of the effort that Eric (Christiansen) and Trevor (Woodruff) had out there. It was Eric's first start of the year, and only his second appearance, but he and Trevor both worked ahead and kept their hitters off balance," said Coach DeVore in radio comments after the game.
"We saw yesterday what their hitters are capable of, so I'm obviously proud of that effort. It's a step forward, which is what we need to start doing, but we also get tense in tight situations.
"As I told the guys after the game, you've got to set the tempo based on what you expect of yourself and not what you look and see your opponent doing. Right now we're letting the opponent dictate the tempo.
"We're going to get there, I have no doubt, and this is a team that showed today the defense they can play. We've got the pitching staff that can win a lot of games, but we've got a lot to do with learning to hit and being aggressive on the bases and those sort of things, and we will get there.
"It's very early in the season, we've only been at this three weeks, and obviously we have some growing pains right now."
Eric Christiansen's seventh inning double was the only hit off Bishop Kely's Nico Lytle, who struck out 14 batters and walked just one. Christiansen pitched five innings, giving up two runs, just one earned and four hits while striking out five and walking two and hitting two batters. Trevor Woodruff came in to pitch the sixth and retired the three batters he faced.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-3 in conference play and 1-5 overall.
Mountain Home will play in the Bucks Bags Spring Classic this week, facing Mountain View at 1 p.m. Thursday at Rodeo Park in Nampa. They face Twin Falls at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning at Rodeo Park, and face the Nampa Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Rodeo Park in Nampa.