DONNELLSON — Cardinal High School baseball coach Rick Scott shouldered the blame.
“I didn’t have my team ready to go,” he said. “We played a late game Monday, but that’s not an excuse. I’ve got to do better getting the team ready.”
One night after outslugging Melcher-Dallas in a game that resembled a football score, the Comets couldn’t take advantage of an early opportunity against Central Lee in a 10-0, five-inning SEI Superconference South Division setback Tuesday at Central Lee High School.
Cardinal (4-2, 1-2 division) beat Melcher-Dallas 17-14 in a seesaw affair for most of the seven innings. All Central Lee did was jump on the Comets for six runs in the second inning in cruising to the win. Central Lee wasn’t cheated on its swings against Jentry Arbogast, either. The Hawks put runners on and had four extra-base hits as they blew the game open.
“That team can hit the ball, and I think they deserve credit for that,” Scott said. “Jentry usually hits his spots, but they just hit him. The main thing we have to do is just get back after it.”
Cardinal put two runners on in the first inning against Central Lee starter Waylon Weirather, but he struck out Cameron Honomichl and Braden Ridgway to get out of the jam. Cardinal had just one runner past second base the rest of the game.
The Hawks got a leadoff home run in the second inning from Alex Sandoval to start the rout. Later, Sam Hirner and KJ Skow had run-scoring hits to make it 5-0.
Central Lee tacked on three more runs in the third. KJ Skow’s two-run single made it 9-0, and Hirner then scored in the fifth on two stolen bases and a throwing error to finish the game.
The Hawks created havoc on the base paths with eight stolen bases.
“That’s a lot. We were going with a new shortstop, and the communication wasn’t quite there tonight,” Scott said. “We’ll continue to work there.”
Arbogast allowed just four earned runs and walked three in throwing 102 pitches. He will now take four days off before pitching again. Weirather struck out five without a walk in five innings.
“I could have pulled Jentry, but it was 6-0, and we were still kind of in there, so I was going to just let him throw,” Scott said.
Hirner and Skow each drove in three runs, and combined to go 5-for-6 with four runs scored.
“The one thing we really need to work on is our mental toughness,” Scott said. “I feel like we can compete with anyone in our conference, but we have to be able to learn from our mistakes. We’ll do that no matter what.”
Cardinal hosts Highland in a Superconference crossover game today as the Comets play the third of five games this week.
Chad Drury can be reached at email@example.com, and on Twitter @ChadDrury