NECEDAH — The Hillsboro baseball team looked to shake off the rust Monday afternoon after an 11-day layoff thanks to a pair of rainouts and Easter break.
Instead, the sloppy Tigers looked like a team that hadn’t had regular practice in more than a week, committing five errors and managing just six hits in a 5–3 Scenic Bluffs Conference loss at Necedah.
“Both teams played sloppy defense, which one can understand after a week off of playing outside and an extended break due to Easter,” said Hillsboro head coach Bob Bothe. “It was little league ugly at times. We can’t make those types of mistakes and expect to win. Our pitching was solid and our hitting was okay, but we have to have all three aspects in order to win.”
Hillsboro jumped out to a 1–0 lead in the top of the first inning as Tyler Crandall singled, took two bases on a throwing error by Necedah pitcher Ashton Knutson and scored on a wild pitch.
In the second, Max Stockwell’s nice bunt attempt was eliminated on a runner’s interference call, so Matt Stekel, who went from first to third on the play, had to go back to first. Stekel ended up not scoring, and the momentum swung to Necedah’s favor.
After a single by Necedah’s Turner and a hit batter, a costly Hillsboro throwing error moved the runners up to second and third.
The Tigers’ Grant Jefferies struck out the Cardinals’ eight and nine hitters before yielding a deep double to the left center field fence to leadoff man sophomore Noah Herried.
Necedah added to its lead with a run in the fourth then three more Hillsboro errors lead to another two unearned runs in the fifth inning.
Jefferies (0–1) took the loss, allowing three runs, two earned on just one hit and two walks. He struck out five.
Knutson collected the complete game victory for Necedah. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Crandall finished 2-for-4 with a double and scored two of Hillsboro three runs in the loss.
Last Thursday’s SBC game with Bangor was postponed by rain and is tentatively scheduled to be made up May 12 as part of a doubleheader at Bangor.
The Tigers (1–2, 1–2 SBC) will return to action today when they travel to Cashton. They will return home Monday for an SBC doubleheader with Royall.