NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village Patriots hosted the Preble Shawnee Arrows in a season opening double header with Shawnee taking the opener 10-6 and the Patriots battling back to take game No. 2 by an 8-4 score.
“We are a very young an inexperienced team and combining that with the rough spring weather we have had so far, it showed in our play on the field,” said Tri-Village coach Jim Maples. “I am really happy with our work effort though and if that continues more positive results will happen.”
“I’m looking forward to competing and trying to surprise a few teams this year,” Maples added.
The Arrows took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second with Tri-Village plating a run in the bottom of the inning to make it a 2-1 score.
Innings three and four had both teams going scoreless before each added three runs to the board in the fifth inning sending the game to the sixth with Shawnee leading 5-4.
The Arrows made it a 9-6 game scoring four sixth-inning runs while the home team was plating two runs in the inning. Shawnee plated one final run in the top of the seventh while keeping the Patriots off the board to take the opener 10-6.
Game No. 2 had Tri-Village taking a 2-0 lead after 1-inning of play with Preble Shawnee knotting the score at 2-2 in the top of the second.
The Patriots put 2-runs on the board in the bottom of the second to lead 4-2, added a run in the fourth inning and 3-runs in the fifth to lead 8-2 after five innings of play.
The Arrows added single runs in the top of the sixth and seventh innings for an 8-4 Tri-Village win.
“Our pitchers are not overpowering so a tight defense is going to be a necessity,” Maples stated. “A couple of our best hitters didn’t have their greatest day but a few of the new guys picked up the slack and helped us to get the split.”
Derek Eyer picked up the win to go 1-0 on the new season tossing six innings while Gage Hileman was earning a save pitching the final inning.
“Twelve errors in a doubleheader is way too many, but I felt we weren’t discouraged and continued to battle,” Maples said of his team’s defensive play. “I was happy to win the second game and show improvement.”
On the day, Derek Eyer went 4-8 at the plate with 3-doubles and 3-RBIs. Matthew Holzapfel was 3-7 with 1-RBI, 1-double, 2-steals and 2-runs scored. Gage Hileman went 3-4 with 1-RBI, 3-runs scored and 2-steals. Joseph McCombs finished the day 3-6 including a double and 3-RBIs.
“Derek Eyer and Gage Hileman had nice days at the plate and on the mound,” Maples concluded. “Their leadership will be very important to us this year. Youngsters like Matthew Holzapfel, Joseph McCombs, Dylan Finkbine, and Cole Shroyer continue to get better each day.
Reach Gaylen Blosser gblosseraimmediamidwest.com or 937-548-3330