Big innings are killing the Dakota Ridge Eagles.
First it was their March 11 game at Cherry Creek when the Eagles allowed the Bruins to put up a seven-run second inning, followed by a five-run sixth in a 15-5 loss.
This time it was Wheat Ridge doing damage in the same innings, as the Farmers also put up seven runs in the second inning and added six in the sixth to cruise to a 13-5 win on April 8 at Dakota Ridge.
“That’s been our story; that’s what we just talked about. It’s just finishing with two outs. We were two plays away from winning 5-4. Four of our losses are that way, just making the play with two outs and finishing the inning,” head coach Jeff Legault said.
The two plays Legault referred to were defensive miscues with two outs in those two innings, allowing them to continue and giving the Farmers an extra nine runs.
The first came with two outs and the Farmers already up 4-0. Left fielder Ryan Latham misjudged a high flyball to left that ended up an RBI triple for Eric Shannon instead of ending the inning. To make matters worse, Ryan Wagner followed the miscue with a two-run home run that chased starter Taylor Lukens.
The second play came in the top of the sixth, after the Eagles had clawed back into the game but still trailed 7-5. After getting two outs with a runner on second base, Eagles pitcher Keaton Greenstreet walked the next two batters to load the bases. He then got Wheat Ridge pitcher Charlie Land to hit a hard line drive to short that went off the glove of shortstop Preston Fugita, who may have been screened by the runner at second base.
Greenstreet then walked in a run before giving up a grand slam to Wagner, who finished with two home runs and six RBI, that broke the game open.
It was a shame for the Eagles, who had fought so hard to get back in it, scoring runs in the second and fourth innings, before adding three runs in the bottom of the fifth to gain some momentum.
Third baseman J.D. Cloud had the big blow in the fifth with a two-run home run off of Land to cut the deficit to two.
“I just sitting fastball with a 2-0 count and that’s what I got,” said Cloud, who also had some nice defensive plays at third base.
For the Eagles, it was their sixth loss in seven games this season and they will spend the rest of this week trying to improve their defense before they start league play next week.
“We’re not worried about the record. We’re worried about getting better every game. Once league starts, everyone is 0-0, so that’s what we’re focusing on.” Legault said.