Glen Rose had beaten Venus 9-1 and 4-1 in the first two district rounds, but terrible weather conditions on Tuesday night seemed to even the playing field.
Venus plated six runs in the first three innings on the way to a 7-6 upset of visiting Tiger baseball. Venus finished with more hits (6-5) and errors (5-2). The loss was a tough blow to the Tigers’ chances of winning district.
“I don’t want to blame the (poor) conditions,” said coach Kenny Toney. “We just didn’t play the quality of ball that we had been playing.”
Glen Rose did limit Venus to one run after the third inning, but the Tiger offense couldn’t make up the difference.
“Even though we didn’t play up to our potential, we still did a pretty good job getting out of some situations,” Toney said.
Taylor Hansen (3 1/3 IP, 7 R – 5 ER, 6 H, W, HBP, 2 K) got the start and Hayden Holder (2 2/3 IP, 3 W, 2 K) didn’t allow any runs or hits in relief.
“We didn’t find out until the fourth inning that Taylor wasn’t feeling well,” Toney said. “We noticed he wasn’t as sharp as he had been in the past. They didn’t get anything off of Holder. He did a nice job.”
Holder led the offense with two singles.
“Holder struggled in our last game, so it was good to see him have a two-hit game and hopefully get back on track,” the coach said.
Other hitters were Curry Mapes (double, 2 RBIs), Austin Gibson (single, RBI) and Preston Shuffield (single). The Tigers left 10 men on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth with just one run in.
“We weren’t able to get that key hit with runners in scoring position,” Toney said.
Glen Rose led 1-0 in the top of the first when Mapes followed a Shuffield single with an RBI double.
“That was a nice job by Curry to push a run across in the first inning,” the coach said.
Trailing 4-1, Glen Rose plated four in the third to go up 5-4. Holder and Gibson (RBI) each had singles in the inning to go with two Venus errors and three walks. In arguably the most important play of the game, Gibson headed home on a passed ball and was called out, despite appearing clearly safe, to end the inning.
“It’s tough to see that call, but we had other opportunities after that where we didn’t take advantage,” Toney said.
The final Tiger run came in the fourth when Mapes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for an RBI (6-6). In the home fourth, Venus used an error to get its lead batter on base and then an RBI single proved to be the game winner (6-7). First baseman Shuffield did make a nice snag to end the inning and prevent further damage.
The Tigers mustered just two baserunners in their last three at bats with no hits.
Glen Rose will wrap up its regular season on Friday vs. Hillsboro at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers will only be able to win district if Venus beats Alvarado.
“We’d love a bye in that first week (of the postseason), but no matter when we start the playoffs we have to go win games,” Toney said.