Despite loss, Coach Perkins content with Longhorns' performance
By Jonathan PleasantDespite loss, Coach Perkins content with Longhorns performance
The Johnson County Longhorns faced the David Crockett Pioneers for a second summer ball game last week. After staying close in an away game the week before, fans were hopeful that Johnson County might be able to pull out a win at home. However, some slip-ups late in the game proved very costly and the final score ultimately came down to a 2-9 loss. Yet, as Coach Nicholas Perkins pointed out, the scoreboard can be very deceptive when it comes to summer games. “I feel like the game was a lot closer than the final score indicated it was. We pulled Andy Woods from the pitcher’s mound after four innings with the score 1-3, and in a regular season game we may have left him in. But I continue to say that summer ball is all about development, about getting these guys reps, and seeing what we have for next year.”
In fact the game was very close all the way up to the sixth inning. The Pioneers were the first to score, putting up two runs in their first at bat, but the Longhorn defense quickly stepped up and held Crockett at bay until the sixth. With several key players such as Ryan Mahala and Daniel Helm missing because of other obligations, other players like Ryan Smith were given the opportunity to step up and try out different positions. Smith took Helm’s place on first, while third was filled in by John Vannoy. Second was once again held by Adam Worley. Andy Woods pitched a solid first four innings, until Coach Perkins began feeling through some of the other pitchers in the lineup. Sam Thomas was first to take up the position and was followed by Vannoy and Jacob Henson.
Aside from the defense, the Longhorns had some good contact with the ball as well, with both Ryan Smith and Judd Hammons landing big triples while several others in the lineup helped to rack up seven base hits in all. “It was awesome,” said Smith. “We needed runs and I just wanted to score and help our team out. I thought it was going to be a double, but then I just got lucky and made it to third base before they did. I think if it had been a regular season game we could have won. Right now we’re trying to rotate through our pitching, trying people at different spot. If it was regular season, though, I feel we could have beat them.”
Although there were several occasions where the Longhorns were able to get runners on base, only two actually made it home before gaining a third out. Hammons triple in the third inning put Johnson County on the scoreboard, but went unmatched until Smith made his in the sixth. Commenting on some of the team’s troubles at bat, Coach Perkins went on to say that, “We’re not an offensive juggernaut. Right now we need quality pitching every game and quality defense. Our offense is not going to explode for a lot of runs often against good pitching. We do put the ball in play and we can hit situationally but we’re not going to sit back and mash the ball, at least not yet.”
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