Landrum loses to Broome at home

Published 12:13 am Monday, March 11, 2013

Landrum first baseman holding a Broome runner on first.

Landrum first baseman holding a Broome runner on first.

High school baseball players who spend a season or two together often gain a collective strength that wins games. Last Thursday, a young Landrum team that had only played together twice, couldn’t quite get it together, as visiting Broome claimed a 10-0 win after five chilly innings.

Wednesday’s scheduled home opener against Carolina was postponed by rain.

In a contest where fielders on both teams juggled the ball, and the ball hardly jumped off the bats, Broome scored three in the first, and added seven in the third, to prove the theory that the team which makes fewer mistakes usually scores more runs.

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It’s just not any fun when it’s like that,” remarked Cardinals’ head coach Ray McCallister, referring to the cold, “especially when you’re getting your fanny whipped.”

With McCallister’s squad boasting just two seniors (just one returning senior), the good news should be that this team will just get better with more experience.  While acknowledging that, McCallister added, “I’m not a very patient person when it comes to things like that.”

Thursday’s contest certainly tried McCallister’s patience. Broome had two men aboard in the top of the first, when a misjudged fly ball to right bounced just short of the fence for a two-run triple. A pitch skipping away from the plate allowed the third run to score.

Cardinals’ starter Ty Pittman threw 80 pitches in less than three full innings, but got little support in the field and from his teammates’ bats, as Landrum banged out jut two hits.

In the top of the third, Broome sent seven runners around the bases without the benefit of many hits, but took advantage of a missed double play opportunity, an errant throw that bounded through the infield and other not-quite-good-enough plays by the Cardinals.

McCallister noted that not being able to turn that double play, and getting just one out didn’t help his team, adding that if some of those plays had gone the other way, the score would have been much closer.

But, he added, “That’s baseball. You have to make the plays.”

Reliever Jonah Corn held Broome in check, using an assortment of off-speed pitches and mostly good control.

“He’s dependable,” McCallister said of Corn. “He’ll throw strikes.”

One of Corn’s offerings did plunk a batter, but Corn was able to strand him, and stop the bleeding, giving the Cardinals a chance to get back in the game. Their best chance came soon after, when they loaded the bases with one out. But, a strikeout, followed by a very close out at first on an infield grounder, kept at least one run from scoring, and ended a potential rally.

“Hopefully, when the weather warms up, we’ll warm along with it,” said McCallister.

After hosting Crescent last Friday, the Cardinals travel to Powdersville tomorrow (Tuesday), and to Crescent on Thursday. On Friday, they’re back home against Liberty. Game time is 7:00.