Missed chances doom DHS
Ugh. That about sums it up.
The De Soto baseball team's season-ending loss to Kansas City-Piper in the first round of the regional tournament was by no means all ugly. Some Cats pitched well. Some Cats hit well. Dustin Grimes did both, and both early and late the Wildcats appeared to have the No. 2 seed Pirates on the ropes.
But a game-ending pick off at second base went further to illustrate the opportunities that escaped De Soto than 1,000 words might be able to.
Of course there's always one: ugh.
"It's heartbreaking," De Soto coach Joel Thaemert said. "I feel sorry for the seniors. That's a tough way to culminate a three-year stay on the varsity team.
"We had opportunities to where if we make a play or two, we're ahead."
The start of the game was anything but dismal.
The Cats got exactly what they were looking for in a two-run first inning. Senior Tyler Farmer belted a one-out, two-RBI double to deep left center field to give the Cats a 2-0 lead right out of the gate.
Senior starter Jerod Bader stayed out of trouble in the bottom of the first, notching a strikeout to leave two Piper Pirates standing on base.
A pair of Piper runs scored to tie the game in the second, however, and two more got in in the third before Grimes came in to pitch and slip De Soto out of the inning without any further damage.
"'You just have to stay calm'. That's what I kept thinking," Grimes said. "Accuracy comes first. That's what I kept doing."
De Soto found a way to answer in the fifth inning.
Aaron Hanson got on thanks to an error and Brady Maasen walked. Shane Miller got on with a fielder's choice, and Jerin Riffel then loaded the bases with a bunt up the third base line.
Finally, Grimes came through with a two-RBI single, a sharp ground ball that cut between first and second base, scoring Maasen and Shane Miller.
"I was pretty excited because we got the game tied again," Grimes said. "We thought we had something big going."
From then on, "ugh" might become more appropriate. De Soto couldn't milk any more runs out of the fifth inning, and gave up the lead on two aggravatingly slow ground balls that barely reached the pitcher.
Miller got aboard again in the seventh as the Cats tried to score two to send the games to extra innings. Jake Bosnak walked, and Tyler Farmer beat out a throw on a slow roller past the mound for a two-out infield single.
Bosnak couldn't dive back to second in time to avoid a tag on a pickoff move, however, and the game was over.
"He was just being aggressive," Thaemert said. "We had plenty of chances. We left the bases loaded twice. We had two bobbles of the ball in the first two innings. We gave up two runs in the sixth and they didn't even get the ball out of the infield.
"We made too many mistakes to pin it on any one thing."