NEW PARIS — It’s been a week of close misses so far for National Trail’s baseball team.
The Blazers suffered a 3-1, 8-inning loss to Twin Valley South on Monday, May 2, then dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to Cross County Conference leader Arcanum on Tuesday.
“We lost a couple of pitcher’s duals and well-played defensive games this week. Michael (Bane) and Billy (Lanman) kept South’s and Arcanum’s hitters off balance and their pitchers did the same to us,” Trail coach Jeff Parker said.
“Bassler for South is a great example of how a pitcher does not have to be a hard thrower and can still be an effective pitcher. He locates, changes eye levels and throws his off-speed at any point in the count. He has beaten some good teams in the past with that formula. I think the takeaway from this game is for our hitters to realize, you just have to stay patient. Stay patient with every pitch and when the opportunity comes, hit his mistakes. But if you allow previous pitches and at bats to frustrate you, you won’t mentally be ready to hit his mistakes.”
“Arcanum is on top of the CCC for a number of reasons. They are a veteran, experienced (eight seniors that all start) ball club and they are very well coached. Randy Baker has built a very good program and when these Seniors leave, Arcanum will still be very solid.”
“Arcanum’s pitcher was very good. He is going to pitch at the next level and it is easy to understand why,” Parker said.
“We played well in both games in two of the three phases, pitching and defense (one error in the South game and none in the Arcanum game). If we are going to get where Arcanum is, we have to hit good — and very good — pitching better than where we are,” he said. “Our older kids are there; our younger kids (two freshmen and two sophomores) show glimpses and with smart, hard work in the off season, they can get there.”
Against South, Parker said Bane “deserved a better outcome on the mound as he tossed seven innings of one run baseball.”
Bane struck out eight, scattered six hits and walked one. He also led the Blazers on offense, collecting three of the team’s seven hits.
Dom Huffman added two hits, including a double. Lanman picked up the only RBI of the night for NT on a single in the second. Hunter Lindsey scored on Lanman’s hit after a picking up a one out hit and advancing to third on Huffman’s double.
The next night, the Blazers took another tough loss against Arcanum.
Neither team committed an error and neither pitcher walked a batter. It was the third consecutive nail biter for the Blazers.
Parker said Lanman, in typical fashion, pitched a gem.
Lanman struck out eight, walked none and scattered four hits, three by Ohio State signee Conner Pohl.
Arcanum tallied their run in the bottom of the fourth when Pohl reached on a one out single. Two pitches later, the catcher had Pohl nearly picked off at first, but Pohl advanced to second on the pick off attempt and was called safe. Two pitches later, he scored.
NT was able to muster two hits in the game and advance a runner to second base once. Garabito laced a single to center in the fifth and Chip Parker moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. The Blazers were unable to advance Garabito any further. Logan Pettit picked up the other NT hit.
The Blazers were scheduled to play Tri-Village on Wednesday and Bradford on Thursday to close out the regular season.