Jeeps drop contest to TecumsehMay 10, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
DUBOIS — When May baseball rolls around, cleats dig in a little deeper. Northeast Dubois (9-6) and Tecumseh squared off in an action-packed game on Monday evening.
When the dust settled, the Jeeps lost the 11-3 contest to the Braves.
“Obviously, Tecumseh is the measuring stick for us,” Northeast Dubois head coach Luke Woolems said. “That’s who we’ve drawn in the sectional. We have some things to get back to work on, but it was a competitive atmosphere. It always is with us and them. It’s become something of a rivalry for us. They’ve gotten the better end of us here over the last few years, but it is the measuring stick.”
The teams alternated runs in the early innings. Trailing 2-1, Northeast Dubois took the lead after a two-out rally in the fourth frame. The Jeeps loaded the bases before senior Cole Tretter ripped a sharp two-run single into center field.
“To get ahold of the momentum at that point in the game was big,” Woolems said. “A senior comes up with a hit there. We’ve just got to go out and play defense in the bottom of that inning, and we don’t do that. We were our own worst enemy tonight on defense. We’ve got to figure it out somehow.”
The game featured something of a statistical anomaly. Tretter’s hit was the Jeeps’ lone base knock, but Northeast Dubois showed keen plate discipline and worked nine walks. Sophomore Xavier Wehr, junior Bryce Merkel and junior Kendrick Thombleson drew two walks apiece. Sophomore starting pitcher Dax Bailey of the Braves issued seven walks and did not record a strikeout in 3.1 innings.
Tecumseh tallied 12 hits and scored nine runs during the final three innings of its come-from-behind effort.
“Anytime you play a game like this, you find out what your weaknesses are,” Woolems said. “You make a list and go to work.”
The Jeeps did not score a run in the last three innings. Merkel and fellow junior Colby Pieper swiped bases in the game, and Pieper scored a run.
Jeeps senior Logan Lampert pitched 4.2 innings, allowed just one walk and issued three earned runs in his start on the mound. Tecumseh sophomore Drew Dupont hit two home runs and accounted for more than half of the Braves’ runs batted in. Peaks and valleys are abundant in any baseball season, especially in a peculiar campaign such as this one. The Jeeps are navigating the learning curve, and Woolems has found reasons for optimism along the way.
“We’re still young,” he said. “I think you see that in some of the things that we do. We make some young mistakes, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Northeast Dubois returns on Wednesday at Springs Valley.
“It’s probably less about them than it is about us on Wednesday night,” Woolems said. “We’ve got to take care of our business. We can’t really get too worried about who we’re playing.”
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