Panthers fall to Fairfield in SEC twinbill
FAIRFIELD — Too many missed opportunities cost the Mt. Pleasant baseball team a pair of games in Fairfield last night and made their path to a conference championship a lot more difficult.
Fairfield defeated Mt. Pleasant by scores of 5-4 and 3-1 in last night’s conference doubleheader.
“We didn’t capitalize on opportunities,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Brent Broeker said. “We left too many on base.”
The Panthers stranded eight baserunners in each game, unable to get the hits needed to bring them in — or even make contact.
“In game one, I think we had seven strikeouts (with runners on),” Broeker said. “We didn’t put the ball in play.”
It was the same story in game two.
“We had bases loaded at the end, but couldn’t get the big hit,” Broeker said.
The Panthers had seven hits in game one, including two by Austin Smith. Tyler Pace hit a double; Jacob Dilks, Justin Dilks, Carson Remick and Tony Cristoforo each knocked in a run.
Mt. Pleasant had three hits in the nightcap — one each from Alex O’Donnell, Jacob Dilks and Pace, who hit another double. Dustin Amos scored the team’s only run.
Meanwhile, Fairfield capitalized on every opportunity.
“They got every big hit when they needed it — everything worked out perfect for them,” Broeker said.
The Panthers’ defense was nearly perfect in the twinbill, but Fairfield turned Mt. Pleasant’s lone error into two runs.
Meanwhile, the Trojans committed six errors on the night — but it didn’t do Mt. Pleasant much good.
Amos took the loss on the mound in game one, giving up eight hits and one walk for five runs (three earned) in a complete game effort. He struck out five batters.
Connor Shull started game two, giving up five hits for one earned run. He walked three batters and struck out three in 5 1/3 innings, taking the loss. Alex Moore got the last two outs of the game in relief.
The losses make it more difficult for the Panthers to win the SEC title. They are now 12-11 on the season and 8-4 in the conference, while Fairfield upped its conference record to 9-3. Ft. Madison is sitting at 8-2.
The Panthers have to hope that Fairfield and Ft. Madison split their next series, and then will likely need to sweep their matchup against the Bloodhounds — the last two games of the regular season — to stay in contention for the title.
Next up for Mt. Pleasant is another conference doubleheader, this time against Keokuk. They will travel to play the Chiefs on Monday, July 8, starting at 5:30 p.m.