WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South’s baseball team fell below the .500 mark after dropping three of four games last week.
South (3-4, 1-3 CCC) fell to Newton and Mississinawa Valley and beat Bradford in Cross County Conference games, and dropped on non-league game to Legacy Christian.
The Panthers started the week with a 4-2 loss to Legacy Christian.
South fell behind 1-0 after the first inning and trailed 4-0 after three. The Panthers only runs of the game came in the sixth inning.
Cade Cottingim was 2-for-3 with a runs scored, while Buddy Henderson was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
“We did not do a good enough job of making consistent contact at the plate and forcing them to make plays to get us out. I thought our pitchers battled and gave us a chance to win the game but ultimately we did not make enough plays behind them to get it done,” South co-coach Cory Bassler said. “A couple errors in the third really blew up in our face and ended up being the difference in the game.”
The next night, South dropped a 5-0 decision to Mississinawa Valley.
The Blackhawks took advantage of three South errors in the sixth inning to score three insurance runs.
Ryan Bassler pitched six innings and allowed just two earned runs and struck out seven batters.
Ryan Bassler and Ryan Johnson had the only hits for the Panthers.
“To state the obvious, if you don’t field well and you don’t hit well, you’re going to have a hard time winning games,” Cory Bassler said. “Due to some injuries, we were forced to play a few guys in new positions and obviously had some growing pains in the field. I thought their pitcher did a a very good job of pounding the zone and forcing our guys to earn it at the plate, which we were unable to do.”
South grabbed its only win of the week on Wednesday as they downed Bradford 5-3.
South scored two in the first and added three more in the fifth.
Henderson pitched a complete game allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He also struck out six.
Henderson RBI double in the first inning to score Cade Cottingim.
Josh Wysong cleared the bases for a go-ahead, 3-run double in the fifth inning to give the Panthers a 5-2 lead, scoring Ryan Johnson, Cade Cottingim, and Buddy Henderson.
Cade Cottingim went 3-for-3 with 2 runs and a stolen base
“Bradford came out very aggressively swinging the bat and forcing our defense to step up. Buddy did a good job on the mound for us by throwing strikes and giving our defense a chance to back him up, which I thought we did pretty well,” Cory Bassler said. “Offensively, we were far from outstanding but we were able to capitalize on a big opportunity in the fifth, as Josh was able to square one up and come through in the clutch.”
South closed out the week with a 7-6 loss to Newton.
“We have to find a way to be more patient and selective at the plate, as I feel like we made way too many outs by being over-anxious. I’m proud of how our guys battled back from a 4-run deficit to come very close to tying it, but walking seven batters in the first five innings put us in a hole that was tough to climb out of,” coach Bassler said. “Travis (Lovely) did a great job coming in to throw a scoreless 6th inning against the top of their order, and we probably should have gone to him sooner but we just weren’t sure what we were going to get from him with him being limited by an injury.”
Josh Wysong had RBI-singles in the first and fifth, scoring Cade Cottingim both times.
Trailing 7-3 entering the sixth, the Panthers rallied to get within a run.
Jayden Bassler and Ryan Johnson scored on the same wild pitch in the sixth inning, with Cottingim advancing to third base on the same wild pitch that walked him. That play closed the gap to 7-5. Henderson then added an RBI double to score Cottingim to make it 7-6.
Cottingim went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base. Henderson went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Ryan Bassler went 3-for-4. Wysong was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs
South is scheduled to play at Ansonia on Wednesday, April 18. They will host Bethel on Thursday and Tri-Village on Friday. The Panthers will close out the week with a doubleheader at Stivers on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH