BEAT IT: Elginís Blu Risseeuw slides safely into third base during the Huskiesí 9-7 non-league loss to Stanfield/Echo Tuesday. The defeat dropped the Huskies to 6-7 for the season after winning five of their last seven games. CASEY KELLAS / The Observer
ELGIN — The Elgin baseball team didn’t show up with their best effort Tuesday, and it cost them a win.
The Huskies fell to Stanfield/ Echo 9-7 in a non-league contest, leaving coach Greg Luse a little perturbed with his team’s performance.
“We had one hard hit ball (Tuesday). They (the players) just didn’t seem too ambitious,” Luse said.
The game was competitive early on, with Elgin taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
After Blu Risseeuw reached base on a misplayed ball in right field, he eventually scored on an RBI single by D.J. Lizotte.
But after that, things seemed to get difficult for the Huskies.
The Tigers led the top of the third inning off with a single by Tyler Renner, followed by a walk to Devin Haefer.
Then, after a perfect bunt up the first base line by William Abney loaded the bases, Devin Bailey roped a two-run double to put Stanfield/Echo on top, 2-1.
A hit to shallow center field by Ross Mediola added to the lead.
Elgin had a chance to get out of the inning and limit the damage done to pitcher Justin Harris on a ground ball to second, but shortstop Drake Davidson mishandled the toss and allowed another run to score to make it 4-1.
A one, two, three double play eventually did end the inning, but the damage was done.
“Our biggest problem today was letting the leadoff guy get on,” Luse said. “Almost every inning they got the leadoff guy on base.”
The Huskies cut into the score in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Davidson led off with a single and stole second.
Then with Casey Furgerson at the plate, Elgin put on a hit and run which allowed Davidson to come around to score to make it 4-2.
But Elgin stranded a pair of runners on base, a theme that continued throughout the day.
“We really struggled with their (Tigers) slow pitching,” Luse said. “That’s something we’re going to work on before Adrian (the Huskies next game).”
Tigers add to lead
After Stanfield/Echo added a run in the fifth, Elgin substituted Davidson on the mound for Harris, and the Tigers struck for another big inning.
After loading the bases, Michael Martinez came through with a two-run single, followed by an error at shortstop by Harris on a slow hit ball by Mendiola to make it 8-2.
A Dominic Renner RBI groundout stretched the lead to 9-2, and Stanfield/Echo was in control.
Elgin didn’t go away, though, and put together a five-run bottom of the seventh to make a game of it.
The Huskies used two hit by pitches and took advantage of an error by the third baseman to load the bases with no outs.
That brought Harris to the plate, and the senior hit a grounder to short that saw the third baseman and shortstop collide, allowing a run to come home and make it 9-3.
Furgerson hit a ball to short right that the outfielder got a bad read on that brought home another run, followed by a balk by pitcher Jacob Murstig, cutting the lead to 9-5.
Back-to-back RBIs by Jordan Vermillion and Lizzotte got the Huskies within two, but that would be as close as Elgin would get as Stanfield/Echo held on for the win.
The Huskies had won five of its previous seven games entering Tuesday.
The loss drops Elgin to 6-7 overall and wraps up its non-league schedule.
The Huskies will be off this week before returning to action against Adrian in a league contest May 5, starting at noon in Elgin.