On the other side of the diamond, Ashman’s counterpart Jake Schroeder was left dealing with the same frustrations as the EBF skipper was Thursday night in Monroe County. Schroeder, who has guided Chariton to a spectacular season that was rewarded with the top seed Tuesday in the Class 3A, District 7 Tournament, saw plenty of flaws in his Charger exposed by the Rockets.
“We haven’t been put in enough pressure situations this year. We can’t always rely on beating teams with seven or eight runs a game,” Schroeder said. “We’ve got to be able to beat teams 2-1 or 3-2. We just never came through with that big hit when we needed it and we got ourselves beat early, which is just as easy to do as winning one late.”
Chariton let several chances to answer a two-run opening frame in game one by EBF get away against Johnston, who continued to pitch out trouble. The Chargers left a total of 15 runners on base, stranding the bases loaded in each of the final two innings, to allow Johnston to win a very special start.
“I told Levi that he had to realize this was his last conference start in a Rocket uniform,” Ashman said his senior pitcher. “Levi didn’t realize that going in, but he really did a great job holding (Chariton) in check. No matter what situation he was facing, he stuck with the pitches he had to make.”
The Rockets gave Bambrook an early start as the EBF pitcher was able to come home, along with Cory Archer, on catcher Chance Wursta’s two-run double into left field in the opening inning. After striking out Lucas Heverlo as the potential tying run to end game one, Bambrook kept right on firing the ball past Charger batters in game two by striking out at least one batter in each inning except the fourth on the way to collecting 12 in his sixth victory of the season.