The Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s almost pulled off a comeback win in the first game of Friday’s non-zone doubleheader with KB Building Services at Hidden Valley Park.
But that comeback attempt shouldn’t have been necessary, A’s manager Mike Rooney and infielder Jake Lufft agreed.
Trailing 10-8 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the A’s had runners on first and third with two outs when catcher Jackson Caley came to bat representing the winning run. Caley smacked a fly ball to left field. The ball was caught and the A’s lost by two.
The A’s later rebounded to take Game 2 in a 12-2 mercy-rule victory in six innings.
“We messed up two or three scoring opportunities by silly baserunning mistakes,” Rooney said. “We let them get a couple of runs because we ran past the ball and didn’t go after it. The loss is on us.”
Rooney and Lufft agreed that four errors hurt the A’s, too. Lufft, who graduated this spring from Blue Springs High School, estimated that three of those errors resulted in unearned runs.
“We could’ve easily won that game if we’d cleaned up our defense,” Lufft said.
But KB Building Services, a club consisting of Omaha (Neb.) Westside High School players, committed four errors, too. KB manager Bob Greco attributed that to the weather and the period of the baseball season.
“In the heat, I think kids kind of get lazy towards the end of the summer,” Greco said. “They don’t have the same focus they do (early in the season) – and that’s all kids.”
KB Building Services took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning in part by capitalizing on two A’s errors. Michael Reinert reached base on an error and eventually scored on an out. Brett Curran scored when Marty Lenhart reached base on a single and a one-base error.
Lufft doubled in Ray Paniagua for the first of his three total hits to cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the first. KB Building Services collected three hits and capitalized on another A’s error en route to adding three runs in the top of fourth. The A’s answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, using five hits and an error to help them tie it.
An error and four hits helped the A’s take a 7-5 lead. KB Building Services tied it with a two-run sixth and then forged ahead 10-7 with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Paniagua, who also had three hits, reached third on a single and a two-base error nd scored when Dustin Brewer doubled for the last of his three hits to spark the A’s rally attempt in the bottom of the seventh. Eventually, Brewer reached third. Anthony Gunn was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners and put the A’s in position to win it before the game-ending fly out.
In the second game, the A’s took advantage of some errors by KB Building Services to scored two runs in the first and four in the second. Lufft and CJ July each had an RBI single in the first. KB Building services scored one run in the fourth and one in the fifth to make it 6-2.
However, the A’s won it in the bottom of the sixth. They scored six runs, highlighted by Lufft’s walk-off, three run home run. Lufft had three hits and six RBIs to pace Blue Springs’ offense. July and Anthony Gunn chipped in with two hits.
Will Heller was the winning pitcher as he gave up two runs on seven hits and struck out six to help the A’s improve to 31-6.