Sodbusters head coach Ryan McClaran was unimpressed with the team's effort in game one of Monday's doubleheader.
“You can’t be highly uncompetitive for eight innings and expect to turn it on in the ninth,” McClaran said. “It doesn’t work for a lot of baseball teams.”
The ‘Busters dropped the game 5-4 to the Horseheads after a ninth-inning rally failed. Hastings native Trey Asher took the loss on the mound after allowing two runs on six hits in five innings of work.
The star of the game was Casper’s starting pitcher Nick Roach, who earned the victory after tossing seven innings and striking out 13 Sodbusters.
The Horseheads provided Roach a lead to work with in the first after Asher surrendered three straight singles to the second through fourth hitters in the Casper lineup. Bryce Pryblinski hit an RBI single to left that scored Dillon Buckmier for a 1-0 lead.
Casper added another in the top of the fourth when the Sodbusters committed errors on consecutive batters that eventually scored Cody Gregory, who reached on an infield single that really was a miscommunication between third basemen J.D. Barrett and shortstop Adam Gadsden.
Hastings bounced back in the bottom half when Grant Schmidt excited to crowd with the first Sodbuster home run out of Duncan Field in 2019.
Schmidt drilled a 2-1 fastball over the brick wall in left field to cut the Horseheads’ lead in half.
Roach responded by retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.
“I tip my hat to the kid, but I think we made him look even better (than he was),” McClaran said. “It was very uncompetitive at the plate today.”
Austin Quick and Wesley Case tossed in relief of Asher. Quick allowed one run on two hits in three innings of work. He struck out five and walked two. Case was tagged with two runs in the ninth after a two-RBI double by Jake Brown that scored Daniel Zaldivar, who was hit by a pitch, and Roberto Diaz, who singled.
Hastings rallied to make it a one-run ballgame in the bottom of the ninth. Darek Bornemeir walked with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Wyatt Andersen then stroked an RBI single to left to score Bornemeir. Andersen then came around to score on an Alec Lee triple to deep center field.
Hayden Heinze had the Sodbusters down to their final strike after Carter Sakamoto struck out for the second out a batter prior, but Heinze put the ball in play with a grounder to second. The throw from Diaz pulled Josh Overstreet off the bag and Heinze was safe, which allowed Lee to score to make it 5-4.
The next batter, Adam Gadsden, hit a hard grounder to short, but Luis Alcantara fielded it and flipped it to Diaz for the final out.
CHH 100 100 012 — 5 10 2
HAS 000 100 002 — 4 9 2
W — Nick Roach. L — Trey Asher.
2B — C, Jake Brown.
3B — H, Alec Lee.
HR — H, Grant Schmidt.