Wildcats shut out by Columbus EastApril 23, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER - Things simply did not go Jasper's way in Friday night's 3-0 loss to Columbus East.
The Wildcats (9-2) were originally set to play the Olympians Saturday morning as part of the Jasper Invitational, but the game was moved ahead to Friday night. Connor Foley took the loss. Foley threw strikes, got ahead of batters and got strikeouts, but he also had multiple balks and some pitches got away that got a piece of multiple batters, in which the Olympians made him pay.
T.J. Barkhimer got on base to lead off the game after a pitch drilled him, and Kaden Wise, who posted a complete game shutout, drove him in on an RBI sacrifice fly. That alone would've been enough, but a pitch got a piece of Parker Harrison to lead off the top of the fourth, and then he walked Wise. Wildcat pitching limited the Olympians to one base knock, and it was in that top of the fourth when Ben Major brought them in on a two-run single.
"It's pitching, not throwing - and he was probably a thrower tonight," Wildcats coach Terry Gobert said of Foley. "But it's a good game for him to pitch because they took advantage of some things and we weren't ready for it, and that's why you play like a team like this. That's why we got this game in because you need to be in that situation."
Jack Ahlbrand came on in relief in the top of the sixth, and he kept the Olympians at bay in the final two innings, but Jasper's offense couldn't muster any runs in spite of some opportunities.
Eli Hopf had a leadoff walk to begin the bottom of the first, and though he found his way to third base, nobody could bring him in. Ross Peter had the same fate after he had a two-out triple in the bottom of the second, but he, too, couldn't score.
Wise had eight strikeouts in his performance Friday night, but Jasper was caught looking on seven of those.
"We didn't have a good approach," Gobert said. "Three guys in a row took sliders for strike three. So, they're obviously not paying attention and carrying it forward."
He did feel the Wildcats still had some good at-bats, but when he spoke to the Herald on Friday, he felt it still should've been 0-0.
"I don't want to sound negative, there were some good things, but we need to play these games," he said. "There was no trophy handed out tonight. If we get better for it - first of all, he's a good pitcher, but you got to carry over things. But we need to play games like this. It doesn't do any good to 10-run somebody. These are the kind of games we need to play, and figure out how to win them."
Everything hinges on weather when it comes to Jasper's next outing. As of press time, the Wildcats were still supposed to have action Saturday against North Central. Per Gobert, the Wildcats would play North Central, followed by North Central playing Evansville Central. Jasper will not play the Bears, as these two Southern Indiana Athletic Conference teams are set to meet Thursday in Evansville. Meanwhile, the Olympians will not be back at Ruxer Field.
If there aren't any games, Jasper is set on Tuesday to welcome SIAC foe Evansville Mater Dei.
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