It was a Sunday split for the Atchison Junior A’s against Sabetha.
The A’s took Game 1 11-7, but the visitors answered with an 8-6 win in Game 2.
With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth, the A’s offense put together a six-run inning to provide plenty of breathing room for starting pitcher Noah Cummins.
Tate Vowels and Abe Siebenmorgen singled, then Atchison got a lot of help from the Sabetha pitcher. Two walks and a hit batter later pushed across Vowels and Siebenmorgen. Cummins reached on a bunt that scored Levi Navinskey and Colten Kocour was hit by a pitch that drove in Tate Smith. Colby Weishaar drew another walk, scoring Ayden Black and Cummins scored when Cole Montgomery walked with the bases loaded.
Cummins pitched 5.2 innings and gave up six runs. Tate Vowels replaced him with two outs in the sixth and the bases loaded, but struck out the Sabetha batter to avoid any damage.
Sabetha was able to score once on Vowels in the seventh, but the A’s lead was too great.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first inning, but Atchison plated three in the second. Cummins and Kocour were hit by pitches, then Weishaar walked and all three came in to score.
Sabetha answered with three of its own in the top of the third. Atchison scored once in the bottom of the third and Sabetha answered with a run in the top of the fourth before the A’s put the game out of reach with six in the bottom of the fourth.
The doubleheader brought the third and fourth games in three days for the A’s, putting a pinch on pitcher availability, but head coach Chuck Trotter said he had guys ready to go – it was just a matter of execution.
“It was pretty tough, but our game plan Saturday worked out, so we had pitchers,” Trotter said. “We had a good first game; second game, we struggled a little bit.”
Like the first game, Sabetha scored once in the top of the first, but Atchison answered. Cummins tripled in Vowels and Navinskey to give the A’s a 2-1 lead after one.
Each team scored once in the second and Atchison had a 3-2 lead before things fell apart in the third. A fly out to center began the Sabetha third, followed by a double. A pop out left Atchison just one out away from getting out of the inning untouched, but Sabetha went on a tear.
Another double was followed by a single, a walk, a single, a double and another single before a pop out to third ended the inning. Sabetha totaled six runs in the inning to take an 8-3 lead.
The A’s had some fight left in the tank, but not enough. They scored twice in the third to cut the deficit to 8-5. In the fifth and final inning, still down 8-5, Navinskey led off with a triple and scored on a ground out by Cummins, but no other runners reached base, ending the game at 8-6.
The A’s are now 4-4 on the season, but Trotter said he can see things coming together.
“We’re getting our pitchers lined out,” he said. “I can see improvement and the other coaches are seeing improvement and we’re moving along.”
The A’s hosted Holton Tuesday night at home. Results will be in the Saturday, June 25 edition of the Globe.