LOVELAND — Any talk of the dreaded pitch count around the Centaurus camp is a bit of a faux pas.
After a miscue cost the Warriors a game early in the season, they have monitored it with precision.
On Thursday afternoon, in the second game of a doubleheader against Thompson Valley — it was originally set for Thursday and Saturday but switched to two games ahead of the impending storm — it was a non-issue for Warriors starter Lucas DiSabato.
The senior threw just 52 pitches in six innings of work against the Eagles, giving up two earned runs on four hits.
It wasn’t enough.
Centaurus couldn’t string together any hits, and scored just one run in support of DiSabato and lost 2-1.
“We’ve been lacking with the timely hitting and stringing hits together and getting runner across,” said Centaurus coach Doug Kinney, whose team dropped the first game, 8-1.
DiSabato was brilliant from the get-go against a potent Thompson Valley lineup that has shown a propensity for scoring runs.
He struck out the first two batters of the game and then gave up three consecutive hits to Mike Berg, Cameron Nellor and Aidan Schultz that plated the only two runs of the game for the Eagles.
“I felt really good. All my pitches were working — fastball, curve, change — and I just can’t control what happens behind me,” DiSabato said. “I felt like I was in a groove the whole way, but unfortunately in baseball, one bad inning can change the whole game.”
How dominant was DiSabato? He threw no more than nine pitches in any one inning the rest of the way, giving up only a bunt single toe the nine-hole hitter, Tristan Schatz, in the bottom of the fifth.
In the fourth inning, he threw just four pitches.
“Lucas is battler. he wanted the ball and asked for the ball and he said he was ready,” Kinney said. “Every time I call on him, I get a great effort out of him, no mater what.”
The Warriors got a run back in the third inning. A one-out double down the left-field line by Trevor Erickson was cashed in by Eric Gambon’s double down the right-field line two batters later after an Anthony Losasso walk.
With runners at second and third and clean-up hitter Joe Milano at the plate, things looked good for the Warriors. But needing a jolt to spark a stagnant offense, Milano grounded out to third and Losasso broke for home and was thrown out on a close play to end the inning.
It was the first of two double plays that stalled Centaurus’ comebacks.
It was a tough pill to swallow for Kinney’s team, who would love nothing more than to get in the win column to instill some confidence going forward.
“At this point in the season, just having the opportunity to get victory would be huge,” Kinney said.
Said DiSabato: “We started out strong this season and have been flat ever since. (The forfeit) brought us down at first because we knew we won that game and we worked hard for that.”
THOMPSON VALLEY 2, CENTAURUS 1
At Thompson Valley
Centaurus (2-8, 0-6)001 000 0 — 1 8 1
Thompson Valley (6-1, 3-1)200 000 x — 2 4 1
W — Jayden Raabe (3-0). L — Lucas DiSabato (0-3).
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Trevor Erickson 4-1-1-0, Anthony Losasso 3-0-2-0, Eric Gambon 3-0-1-1, Joe Milano 3-0-0-0, Jeff DeBouvier 3-0-2-0, Greg Smith 2-0-0-0, Balin Jessip 3-0-1-0, Chris Varga 0-0-0-0, Mitch Koch 3-0-1-0, Lucas DiSabato 3-0-0-0. Totals 27-1-8-1. 2B — Erickson, Gambon.
Thompson Valley hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Matt Berg 3-0-0-0, Austin Sobraske 3-0-0-0, Mike Berg 3-1-1-0, Cameron Nellor 3-1-1-1, Aidan Schultz 2-0-1-1, Jayden Raabe 2-0-0-0, Jacob Hewson 0-0-0-0, Joaquin Champlin 2-0-0-0, Tommy Crews 2-0-0-0, Tristan Schatz 2-0-1-0. Totals 22-2-4-2. 2B — Mike Berg. SB — Nellor.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — DiSabato 6-4-2-2-0-2.
Thompson Valley pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Raabe 6-8-1-1-1-2, Hewson 1-0-0-0-0-1.