SHELBYVILLE — The Greenfield-Central baseball team rolled into Shelbyville on Friday night with clear intentions.
Sweep the doubleheader against the Golden Bears and remain in the hunt for a Hoosier Heritage Conference title.
The plan was derailed in Game 1.
The Cougars dropped the opener 8-2, falling to 5-6 in the conference and likely out of contention for a league title.
“It’s always disappointing,” Greenfield-Central coach Robbie Miller said of failing to accomplish one of the team’s preseason goals. “But these kids aren’t going to give up on us, and we aren’t going to give up on them. We have bigger fish in the pond to worry about now with sectionals coming up.”
The second game of Friday night’s doubleheader was postponed after rain and lighting entered the area.
The Cougars and Golden Bears were knotted at 1-1 after 6 1/3 innings.
In the first game, Shelbyville starting pitcher Conner Hasecuster and the Golden Bears mostly solid defense were a riddle the Cougars could not solve. Hasecuster, a junior and University of Evansville commit, allowed just two earned runs over six innings. He surrendered five hits and struck out four to pick up the win.
He allowed only two hits in his final four innings of work.
“We hit the ball hard, it was just right at them, and they made plays,” Miller said. “And they hit it where we weren’t. That was pretty much it.”
The Cougars (9-14, 5-6 HHC) did manage to jump out front early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first on a Seth Adams RBI-single, plating Slater Rush. It would be the last time the blue and gold led in the game.
Shelbyville (11-11, 5-6 HHC) answered in their half of the first, scoring on a two-out RBI single by John Lux in the first. They would add two more in the third on three hits to take a 3-1 lead.
The Cougars did the remainder of its damage in the fourth on another Seth Adams RBI single, but they probably should have had more. If not for the quick reflexes of Hasecuster, they would have.
With runners on second and third with one out, he snared a line drive off the bat of Tyler Mundell and then doubled the Cougars’ runner off third to end the inning.
The Golden Bears proceeded to open things up with two outs in the fifth. Tyler Land connected on a two-RBI double, and Braxton Savage drove him in a few pitches later to extend the lead to 7-2.
They would pick up another run in the sixth to bring the score its 8-2 final.
“We just couldn’t come up with the big hit when we needed,” Miller said. “We just couldn’t get that big hit.”
In game two, Drey Jameson was probably not at his best.
But that didn’t stop the Cougars’ second-game starter from delivering one of his best performances of the year.
Before the game was delayed the Greenfield-Central sophomore dealt 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, scattering four hits, while striking out six. Unfortunately for him, the Cougars offense has yet to lend him the support he needs to secure a victory.
Through six innings, Greenfield-Central has mustered two hits. They were held hitless in the final three innings.
“This game is just like the first one,” Miller said. “We haven’t got clutch hits when we needed them. But we still have faith in these kids. It’s coming.”
Hopefully for Miller and his Cougars, it comes 5:30 p.m. Monday when the game resumes.