A four-run first inning by visiting Cathedral gave the East baseball team a big early deficit Tuesday, and the Olympians were unable to recover, losing 12-2 in six innings.
O’s pitcher Nick Beamish gave up back-to-back hits followed by back-to-back walks to start the opening frame and had to deal with bases-loaded situations throughout the first inning.
Beamish eventually settled down, striking out the final batter of the inning and pitching a good second, but a lack of East offense and another tough inning in the third, in which Class 4A No. 2 Cathedral scored twice, put the 4A No. 10 Olympians in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
“They came out and hit the ball early,” East coach Jonathan Gratz said. “We were a little sluggish early in the game, and that compounded everything. In a game like this, against a really good team, four runs early can put you down mentally. I didn’t feel like we quit when that happened, though. We were still mentally there.”
Garrett Thrasher and Connor Roberts were the other Olympians to take the mound Tuesday. Thrasher did a nice job to shut down the Irish after replacing Beamish in the third but struggled later in the fifth, giving up four runs.
Roberts pitched the sixth and gave up Cathedral’s final two runs on three hits.
While East made good contact at the plate all night, it struggled to find holes when it mattered most. Roberts and second baseman Joey Back had the Olympians’ two RBIs. Roberts doubled home third baseman Sam Claycamp in the fourth. Back’s RBI came on a two-out double in the sixth, driving home right fielder Will Anderson as East tried to close their deficit.
“We’ve got a lot of guys hitting the ball pretty hard,” Gratz said. “We’ve got some new guys in the lineup because of some injuries and they’re stepping in a doing a great job. There are a lot of positives right now that we can think about.”
A 10-run loss on a gloomy evening is never a glowingly positive experience, but the Olympians have plenty of time to recover. An early-season loss to an opponent as tough as Cathedral can teach a coach such as Gratz many things about his team.
“They’re a really good ball team – very fundamentally sound,” Gratz said. “We’ve got some things to work on, but I think we’re a pretty good team, too, and I think we’ll show it as the season progresses.”