LENOX – Lenox baseball was unable to get it working against Stanton Monday night, falling 12-2.
After losing to Central Decatur 8-4 Friday, the Tigers came out of the gate in good form, holding their own against Stanton starter Donnie Weis.
Weis had limited opponents to a .160 batting average against him in four appearances entering Monday and his effectiveness showed as Lenox was held scoreless through three innings.
Lenox was also able to hold its own against Stanton’s lineup, but the second time through the order was a different story.
Lenox pitchers struggled to hold down Stanton, but starter Keegan Christensen worked effectively enough through 3 2/3 innings with a one-run game when he exited. The bullpen saw less ease against a comfortable Vikings lineup as Zach Schmitz stepped in and didn’t produce an out.
The decision to rotate through several pitchers was the plan going into the non-conference game, said head coach Trevor Luther.
“With it being a non-conference game we can’t really burn anybody with it being a Monday,” said Luther. “We have four more games this week, five including this one. ... We knew we have a big week ahead of us, so we knew it’d take multiple innings.”
The Tigers pitched Christensen, Schmitz, Brad Larson, Jhordan Montiel and Chase Johnston. The staff as a whole struck out six, walked seven and allowed 12 runs.
Despite the staff allowing runs, not many were earned as the Tigers defense struggled on its home field. Seven errors from the Tigers defense helped Stanton push the runs scored to 12.
“We’ve got to make plays on defense is what it comes down to,” said Luther. “Other than that, we’re playing well and have got to avoid the big innings. Got to avoid the big innings.”
The Tigers were able to put bat to ball, but Luther feels the team needs to be more aggressive at the plate.
“I think we put the ball in play, for the most part. We’re watching too many strikes, strike three obviously,” said Luther. “I’d like to be a little more aggressive.”
Lenox had three hits in the contest, two off the bat of Christensen who went 2-3. Colton Gordon had the lone extra base hit, roping a double down the left field line. He eventually came around to score.
With several games ahead of them this week, Luther feels that whoever is on the field in the next couple of days are the ones that’ll help Lenox get back into the win column and stay there.
“I’m going to put the nine or ten best guys out there that I think are go and compete. We’re going to try and compete with everybody we can. We’re never going to throw away a game, so to speak,” said Luther. “We’re going to do our best to compete night in and night out.”
UP NEXT – The Tigers are back at it today (Tuesday) in a doubleheader against Roland-Story. Both games will be played at Grand View University with first pitch of game one coming at 10 a.m.
“We’ve got to be more efficient on the mound,” said Luther. “... High pitch counts (are) something we can’t afford. But, we’re getting better every day and we learn from everything we do. We grow as a team every single day.”
The box score can be found online at www.crestonnews.com/sports
Stanton 12, Lenox 2
R H E
Stan 000 713 1 — 12 6 3
Len 000 100 1 — 2 3 7
Stanton: Donnie Weis 7K, Colby Royal (6) 1K, Keygan Day (7) 1K and unknown. Lenox: Keegan Christensen (4) 3K 2BB, Zach Schmitz (4) 2BB, Brad Larson (6) 1BB, 1K, Jhordan Montiel (7) 1K 2BB, Chase Johnston 1K and Colton Gordon. W — Weis. L - Christensen. HR — none. 3B — none. 2B — Stanton: Tyler Peterson. Lenox: Colton Gordon. RBI — Stanton: Keygan Day (3), Thomas Bates, Colby Royal, Levi Martin, Peterson. Lenox: Zach Schmitz. Multiple hits — Stanton: Day (3). Lenox: Christensen (2).