ANNA – After Kyle Subler’s leadoff triple Versailles’ bats went cold on Saturday as the Tigers lost 5-1 to Anna.
Versailles had five hits and two errors in Saturday’s game while Anna had nine hits and no errors.
“We’re struggling a little bit at the plate right now,” Versailles baseball coach Ryan Schlater said. “We hit a couple balls hard today, but overall the at-bats that he had, the approach that we had, it’s not there. We’ve kind of prided ourselves about how we hit at the beginning of the year, and the past couple games we haven’t scored a bunch of runs.”
The game started off well for Versailles with Subler drilling a leadoff triple into center field in the top half of the first inning. After Keaton McEldowney walked, Brett McEldowney hit into a fielder’s choice that drove in Subler and put the Tigers up 1-0.
But from there Anna scored five unanswered runs, beginning with a pair in the bottom half of the inning.
Colin Wuebker started the Rocket rally as he was hit by a pitch, and then Luke Albers reached on an infield single. Wuebker advanced to third on a Versailles throwing error and scored on a pitch in the dirt, tying the game at 1-1.
Kain Luthman then reached on an infield single, and Aidan Endsley drilled a double to center field to put Anna up 2-1.
Anna added to its lead in the second inning. Zach Watren singled and stole second to get the Rockets going. Derek Coverstone then reached on an infield single, and Luke Albers reached on a two-out error that brought in Zach Watren and put the Rockets up 3-1.
“That’s not something that’s common for our team,” Schlater said of Versailles’ errors. “We’re pretty solid up the middle. We field the ball really well. That’s kind of the difference in the game today. I think a lot of our guys were going up there looking for that big, huge hit, the big double in the gap, but we just needed to put the ball in play.”
Versailles threatened in the third inning as Kurtis Rutschilling walked, Jared Niekamp singled and Austin Knapke was hit by a pitch. However, the Tigers couldn’t capitalize and left the bases loaded.
The final runs of the game came in the fourth inning. Anna’s Zach White led off the inning with a walk and scored on a double by Coverstone to make it 4-1. After Wuebker reached on an infield single both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Albers then hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Coverstone and put Anna up 5-1.
For Versailles Subler went 1-for-3 with a walk, a triple and a run on Saturday. Rutschilling was 1-for-2 with a walk. Jacob Heitkamp was 1-for-1, and Cole Niekamp and Jacob Watren both were 1-for-3. Brett McEldowney had a RBI.
Keaton McEldowney pitched four innings for Versailles, allowing five runs on eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Heitkamp pitched two innings in relief, allowing no runs on one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.
Versailles fell to 9-3 with the loss, its second in as many days. The Tigers remain undefeated in the Midwest Athletic Conference, though, and have big games this week against Marion Local and Coldwater, who also is undefeated in the MAC.
“These are the games that if you have to lose them, they’re not bad because learn from your mistakes and get around them,” Schlater said. “We have a big week with Marion and Coldwater this week so these are the games we need to come out ready to play.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.