Falcons continue to strand runners in loss to Indians

Blair Oaks’ Bryce Pritchett releases a pitch during Monday’s game with Hallsville at the Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville.

Blair Oaks’ Bryce Pritchett releases a pitch during Monday’s game with Hallsville at the Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville. Photo by Kris Wilson.

WARDSVILLE — It’s a streak the Blair Oaks Falcons would be more than happy to break.

“Every night we come to the park, it seems like we’re leaving a small village on base,” Falcons coach Harv Antle said Monday after Blair Oaks dropped a 2-1 decision to the Hallsville Indians at the Falcon Athletic Complex. “We’re just in one of those stretches right now that can happen in baseball.”

The Falcons left runners on in each of the first six innings on their way to a total of nine in the game. In their last four games, Blair Oaks has scored a total of five runs.

“We’ve been getting guys on and getting some opportunities, we just haven’t been able to get the big hit,” Antle said. “The longer the streaks go, the tigheter everybody gets and you start turning opportunities into bad at-bats. We just need to relax and have a good at-bat.”

On the flip side, the Falcons got a great outing from Bryce Pritchett. The junior went the distance, scattering eight hits while striking out eight.

The Indians scored single runs in the first and second innings, getting three hits in each frame. But Pritchett was able to scramble to keep the damage to a minimum.

“He wasn’t sharp, he was fighting his control at the start,” Antle said.

Hallsville strung together three singles to start the game to make it 1-0. But with runners at second and third and nobody out after a stolen base, Pritchett got a popup and two strikeouts to end the the threat.

In the second, Hallsville hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. After a strikeout, a single by Cole Burkett made it 2-0. But Pritchett struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

Blair Oaks got its run in the bottom of the second. Logan Gratz led off with a single and stole second. Two outs later, Pritchett hit a one-hop double off the fence in left to score Gratz.

That seemed to settle Pritchett down on the mound, Antle said.

“He was a different guy after that,” he said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t get him any run support.”

Hallsville had just two hits the rest of the way, both coming in the sixth inning when a double and an infield single had runners at the corners with one out. But a line out to right and a fly out to left ended the threat.

“If we allow two runs in a game the rest of the way, we’re going to win our share of games,” Antle said.

Blair Oaks had runners in scoring posiiton in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but came up empty. The best chance may have been in the fifth, when the Falcons had runners at second and third with two out before a grounder back to the mound ended the inning.

Burkett went the distance to get the win for the Indians. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out three.

Logan Bax had two hits for Blair Oaks (13-6), who will be back in action today at home against Helias.

“That’s the good thing about baseball, you get a chance to get right back at it,” Antle said.

The varsity game will start at 5 p.m.

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