Jeff Turtle was complimentary of Zach Parish’s performance on the pitching rubber on Tuesday afternoon. Everything else, not so much.
“We just didn’t play very good — in the field [or] anywhere,” Turtle said after an 8-0 setback at home against Class 3A No. 7 Eufaula. “(Eufaula) didn’t have to bunt...didn’t have to do anything. (Parish) didn’t throw bad; I don’t know how many errors we had. I know we struck out 10 times.”
Turtle’s club accounted for four errors, which yielded five unearned runs to Parish’s final line. The lefty hurler for the Indians (3-7) tossed all seven innings and allowed only four hits. However, four walks and three hit-by-pitches overshadowed his five strikeouts.
In the end, though, Parish was saddled with the loss.
“He didn’t throw bad on the mound,” Turtle said. “We just have to get other guys better on the mound now.”
Tossing the pitching gem of the day was Eufaula’s Trey Moore. The senior southpaw pitched six scoreless innings, issuing only five hits and four walks. And as Turtle alluded to, Moore struck out 10 Indian batters.
“He’s been doing that for us all year,” Eufaula coach Victor Paden said. “That makes him 9-0, and here of late he’s been able to throw his second and third pitches for strikes. That makes him better.”
He also helped himself on offense.
Hitting in the lead-off spot, Moore reached base his first three at-bats, and Colton Carey — who ran for Moore all three times — scored on every occasion. Carey scored in the first and third innings on errors, and Eufaula maintained a 2-0 lead until it was able to blow the game wide open in the fifth frame.
It was Michael Clover that kick-started the Ironheads’ three-run fifth with an infield single to start things off. A walk to Moore, a run-scoring double by Dillon Larkin and a RBI single by Bailey Breedlove all led to Eufaula owning a 5-0 advantage through 4 1/2 innings.
Despite the cushy lead, Eufaula (17-3) added three more in the seventh inning — with the assistance of two Sequoyah errors. Breedlove accounted for the only run batted in during the frame on a sacrifice fly to right field with no outs.
With an eight-run lead in the seventh inning, Larkin came on in relief of Moore and needed only 13 pitches to end the game. Larkin allowed a two-out walk to Elijah Tucker but then got Hunter Soap to foul out to end the game.
Sequoyah had chances to score runs but stranded 10 runners on base — at least one in each inning. Six of those runners were left in scoring position, including the sixth inning when Tiron Gourd struck out with two outs and the bases loaded.
“Just too many guys left on base,” said Turtle, whose team also squandered an opportunity in the fourth inning, when Kyle Sanders was picked off first base with Will Tiger batting and two runners on.
Now both clubs will regroup in preparation for a rematch on Thursday in Stilwell. Sequoyah and Eufaula will clash at 4:45 in pool play of the Stilwell-Armstrong Bank Tournament.
“We’re just trying to get better each game,” Turtle said. “We didn’t today. We didn’t get better at all. We didn’t get better in any aspect of the game.”