The game went the distance,
but after a killer Centralia fourth inning, the joy of the game was mostly gone for the Sturgeon Bulldogs as they lost to Centralia 13-4 in Sturgeon.
The win puts Centralia’s record at 6-1, Sturgeon’s, 7-3.
“We knew they had a very good team,” Sturgeon Head Coach Kevin Hicks said. “We knew we had to play perfect and we didn’t.”
He said Sturgeon made some miscues Centralia was able to exploit and Centralia made a few that Sturgeon was not able to take advantage of. “We had plenty of chances out there,” he said of innings when Sturgeon left two or three runners on base.
Ben Doss started for Sturgeon and Jake Snider closed.
“I thought we competed early on,” Hicks said, regarding how the Bulldogs came back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the second, 4-4. “When Centralia had the big inning, we kind of laid down a little bit. But I thought we came out and competed early on.”
When discussing “Centralia’s big inning,” Hicks was talking about the fourth when Will Rolfson shattered the tie with an arching line drive grand-slam over the right field fence. “Sturgeon’s always ready to play, and ready to make the big plays,” said Centralia Head Coach Michael Rodgers. “I told the boys going in, we had to be ready to seize the opportunity and make the most of it. That’s what Will did… I had a lot of faith we were going to get that timely it and we did. We were tied up, he cleared the bases.”
“That was big, that was the turning point for us,” Rodgers said. Sturgeon walked two batters with bases loaded to make it 10-4 Centralia before Snider, in to relieve Doss, ended the
inning with a strike out.
After Schmidt, Rodgers pitched Jackson Wells, Gus Stidham and Jared Holiman finished for the Panthers. He also complimented his bench. “They guys of the bench came in and hit the ball well. Charlie Million, Trey Brown, Trenton Bousquet, Lane Matthews got a double off the bench. It’s great when our rosters deep and I can bring guys in without missing a beat.”
Hicks said said his team is growing despite the loss. “We’re becoming more confident. We’ve got some guys who are a coming around at bat.”