Sluggers struggle to make key hits

Shortstop Codey Batten scoops up a ground ball during the Lions’ home game against Orange on June 1.

 

The Louisa Lions baseball team hosted the Orange County Hornets on June 1, falling 2-0.

The game was scoreless through the first five innings, with both teams getting runners into position to score but unable to get them home. Things swung the Hornets’ way in the sixth thanks to a solo home run from Kyle Johnson, putting them up 1-0. Blake Jennings crossed the plate in the top of the seventh for the team’s second run.

Louisa had more than a few opportunities to score, with Codey Batten and Christian Lam each notching a pair of hits and Sean Karney and Josh Cutright each putting up one, but couldn’t seem to get one in key moments.

“That’s been our issue the last few games, not being able to get the big hit when we needed it,” said Coach Kevin Fisher. “It stinks that we can’t find a way to come out on top, but we played well tonight. That’s just baseball, unfortunately. Sometimes you do everything right and you don’t come out on the right end.”

Jacob Barber and Shane Dunkum shared the pitching duties for Louisa, combining for five strikeouts, walking four batters and giving up four hits.

The Lions traveled to Albemarle on May 27 to take on the Patriots. Louisa held a narrow lead for most of the game, but a late surge gave the Patriots a 7-1 win.

The Lions took a lead early in the game, with Karney batting in Batten in the first inning to put Louisa up 1-0. The Lions struggled to get any further offensive momentum going but their defense kept the Patriots off the board until the bottom of the fifth inning. Albemarle cranked out six runs that inning, then added one more in the bottom of the sixth to clinch the win.

“We played well defensively for most of the game,” Fisher said. “We just did not make [some of] the plays we needed to win the game. Offensively, we did not do a good job making adjustments at the plate to score when we had runners in scoring position early in the game. We have to find a way to get back on track and finish strong this season.”

Karney led the offense with two hits, while Batten, Lam, Lucas Cash and Evan Straley each added one. Cash spent four-and-a-third innings on the mound, striking out seven batters, walking one, giving up two hits and three runs. Batten closed out the fifth inning, walking two, giving up a pair of hits and three runs. Barber closed out the game, striking out a pair of batters, walking one, and giving up a hit and a run.

The Lions head to Monticello High School to take on the Mustangs on June 3, then host the Western Albemarle Warriors on June 8. Action begins at 6:30 p.m. both nights.

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