LOVELAND — There was a point on Saturday when Centaurus baseball coach Doug Kinney turned to his dugout and just said, “baseball happens.”
It was kind of nice way of saying his Warriors just didn’t have it against the same Thompson Valley team they beat the night before 4-3.
An error-filled first inning that saw the Eagles score four runs without the benefit of a hit summed up the day for Centaurus, which dropped to 3-6 overall and now 1-5 in the Northern League.
“Baseball got us today,” Kinney said. “We had fun and enjoyed it, had a good experience with these guys, but things happened to us.”
Those things included three first-inning errors, six walks from their three pitchers and four runners being thrown out on the base paths.
Things started to go south for the Warriors in the first inning behind starter Trevor Erickson, who to his credit was throwing the ball very well.
Cameron Nellor reached on Henry Zeigert’s throwing error and advanced to second on Erickson’s pick-off attempt that skipped by Brayden Rizzi. When two-hole hitter Tristan Schatz attempted to sacrifice Nellor to third, Erickson had his throw to first again miss its target and Nellor came around to score.
A walk, a hit batsman and a wild pitch all combined to bring in the next three unearned runs.
“We live by a motto and we call it ‘next pitch’, and now we have to get ready to go the next time out,” said Kinney, whose team will host 5A Mountain Range on Tuesday.
The defense bailed the Warriors out of some potentially even bigger innings when they turned four double plays in the first four innings, including a 4-6-3 in the first and a 5-4-3 in the second.
Erickson limited the damage and held the Eagles hitless through the first three innings to keep his team in it.
Centaurus cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth, cashing in back-to-back doubles from Rizzi, Kaden Shepherd (who was thrown out at home as part of a double steal) as well as an RBI single from Nick VanTassel.
“It kind of fell apart there near the end, but we hit the ball pretty well,” said Rizzi, who went 3 for 3. “I felt we competed decently, but the defense could have been a lot more clean. We just need to tighten things up.”
Thompson Valley chased Erickson in the fifth inning, getting six runs with two outs off of him, reliever Carson Renjillian and Rizzi.
Despite the bad day and a tough start, the young Warriors still feel like they have what it takes to turn it around and make a run in April and May.
“If we win these series coming up, we definitely have a chance,” Rizzi said. “I think we can compete. We just need to keep out pitches down and outside and get on those fastballs and drive them the other way.”
THOMPSON VALLEY 10, CENTAURUS 2
At Thompson Valley
Centaurus (3-6, 1-5)000 200 0 — 2 7 4
Thompson Valley (3-5, 2-2)400 060 x — 10 8 1
W — Shultz (2-1). L — Erickson (0-3).
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Batistelli 3-0-1-0, Meskers 4-0-0-0, Erickson 4-0-1-0, Herbstreit 0-0-0-0, Rizzi 3-1-3-0, Shepherd 3-0-1-1, Smith 0-0-0-0, Blare 1-1-0-0, Renjillian 2-0-0-0, Van Tassel 2-0-1-1, Zeigert 1-0-0-0. Totals 23-2-7-2. 2B — Rizzi, Shepherd. SB — Blare.
Thompson Valley hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — C. Nellor 3-2-0-0, Schatz 2-1-0-0, Juarez 3-2-1-1, Dotson 0-0-0-0, J. Riehl 0-0-0-0, Sobraske 3-1-1-3, Hewson 1-0-0-0, Raabe 2-1-2-0, Kreikemaier 3-1-1-1, T. Riehl 3-0-1-1, Sheldon 3-0-1–0. Totals 24-10-8-6. 2B — Sheldon. SB — C. Nellor 2, J. Riehl, Raabe.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Erickson 4.2-4-8-2-5-1, Renjillian 0-2-2-2-0-0, Rizzi 1.1-2-0-0-1-2.
Thompson Valley pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hewson 2+-2-0-0-2-2, Shultz 3-4-2-2-2-1, Juarez 2-1-0-0-2-2.