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Patriots' last turn at bat sealed fate; Longhorns lose 3-9

The Longhorns began their game against the Sullivan East Patriots on a good note, bringing in three runs at the beginning of the first inning thanks to a big double from Harley Reece that batted in Daniel Helm and Jacob Henson, along with an earlier run from Chad Hodgkiss. Yet, despite that early jumpstart, the Longhorns failed to follow through, gaining only one more base earning hit in the remaining six innings and striking out nine times.
For Coach Pete Pavusek the problem is more a lack of drive than anything else. “We hit well the first inning but you’ve got to go all seven. That’s a part of baseball, you can’t score three runs against a team that’s up there in the top with one of the best pitchers in the conference and get off to a hot start and then quit. I just don’t think we have a whole lot of intensity right now. I told some of them to ask themselves why they play. It’s not a recreational type thing, its varsity high school baseball. You have to play with a little passion, you’ve got to play with a little intensity, and be somewhat upbeat. That’s just part of the game. You play with momentum and when the momentum is in your favor you have to go with it. Tonight the momentum was in our favor in the first inning and we didn’t go with it, we didn’t roll.”
Offensively, the only other bright spot was a hit by Jacob Henson in the second inning that eventually allowed him to take third. A big part of the problem was East’s pitcher, who threw out a total of 68 strikes, and played havoc on the Longhorns with a strong curveball.
For Daniel Helm, one of Johnson County’s best offensive players, East’s pitcher was a tough factor to overcome. “I definitely didn’t get it where I needed to. He threw a curveball and that got me. I need to work on the off pitches a little bit more. I’m used to fastballs right now, but curveballs and things like that I’m going to have to work harder on. They mixed it up a little bit on the last one and that’s what got me. I think it was just a mental thing. We should have hit it a lot better than that. I feel good about my defense though. I don’t work on it as much as my hitting, because I’m already fairly decent at it. Defensively we’re pretty good.”
For the rest of the story, see this week's Tomahawk.