96° F Thursday, July 27, 2017

BRENHAM – Much like the record-breaking low early-May temperatures, the Bastrop baseball team seemed out-of-character from the first inning in a 5-0 loss to Brenham on May 2 on Leroy Dreyer Field at Blinn Junior College.

Coach Robert Williams had decided earlier in the week to go with a three-game because of worries that nerves would affect the Bears in game one. His worries came to fruition as Bastrop committed five errors that led to five unearned runs for the Cubs.

“There were definitely some nerves,” Williams said.

The nervousness was compounded by the conditions at Leroy Dreyer Field. Though it was natural grass, the hard surface seemed to play more like artificial turf at times. In two big plays that scored four of the Cubs’ five runs, the ball seemed to change trajectory on routine ground balls toward the first-base line.

“We were getting some bad hops in the infield,” Williams said. “During warm ups we had to tell the coaches to slow down the ground balls because we had one kid get hit in the mouth. I’m not trying to make excuses, our guys were nervous.”

The Cubs scored five runs on just two hits in the game. Bastrop pitcher Cameron Williams had a solid outing, going the complete game and striking out 11.

While the hard field aided the ground-ball-hitting Cubs, the large foul territory and 35-mile-per-hour wind slowed the Bastrop offense.

“Anything hit in the air was going to die down,” Williams said. “We had a couple of shots get blown back. It was one of those games where it just came down to who got the breaks. It should have been a really low-scoring game, but they were able to get some breaks and take advantage of a couple of our errors.”

The Bears weren’t without offense. Bastrop cranked out five hits on the night, three more than Brenham. Clifton Hendrix, who finished 2-for-3, had a one-out single in the bottom of the first. Hendrix then stole second base, but was picked off there to end the inning. Hendrix followed up a Logan Allen single with one of his own later in the top of the third, but both were left on base.

Mason Homesley’s single in the bottom of the seventh inning perked the Bears’ hopes, but a double play ended that threat.

Coach Robert Williams has confidence in his squad, and reminded his squad of the importance of momentum.

“I told them that usually the team that wins game two, wins game three,” he said. “The good news is, we get them at home. If we show up and hit, the wind will be blowing out and we will get some chances.”

Most importantly in game two, the Bears will be back in the friendly confines of Bastrop.

“I told them to get ready to come back to Bastrop and have some fun playing in front of an excited home crowd,” Williams said.

If the Bears were able to win May 3, they would get a neutral-field third game against Brenham on May 4 at Sealy High School. Williams knows game three would be all about gutting it out.

“If it comes down to Saturday, it will be kind of a last-man-standing drill,” he said. “We don’t know how much pitching either team will have left.”

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