BY WILL WILLEMS – SPORTS EDITOR
DOVER — The Western Boone baseball had their chances to get there first win of the season Thursday afternoon against Fountain Central.
The Stars had a 1-0 lead through three innings, but saw the Mustangs take the lead in the later innings to win 4-1.
“Not having a 1-2-3 inning seemed to hurt us today,” Western Boone head coach Cesar Barrientos said. “We gave them some extra outs. We talked to the kids postgame about how we are trimming down the fat little by little, but I don’t think we have enough of a sense to urgency to trim that fat even sooner. Giving that extra out every time just seemed to kill us. We had a couple of calls go against us, but that is what it is, it is part of the game. We have to take it upon ourselves to move past that.”
Western Boone had chances to score more runs early.
The Stars stranded two runners in the first and another in the second inning. The hosts got on the board in the third.
TJ Wilson walked and stole second. After a ground out, Nathanial Bye was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with one out for Clay Biesecker, who singled to right to plate Wilson.
The Stars loaded the bases with two outs, but couldn’t add any more runs.
Throughout the game, Western Boone stranded 12 runners total, including the bases loaded again in the fifth.
“We have to just keep at it,” Barrientos said of the hitting. “Timely hitting hasn’t been our friend yet but we are working at it. I like the fact that our approach is getting better at the dish, we are getting after the ball. It is going to keep getting better.”
Fountain Central scored twice in the fourth. Wayde Bentley walked, then moved to third on a passed ball and wild pitch. Jaren Oakley followed with a walk and stole second to put runners on second and third with no outs.
A sacrifice fly by Cole Snyder and a wild pitch plated the two runners, making it 2-1 Mustangs.
Fountain Central added a run in the sixth on an error and a run in the seventh on a single by Snyder.
Western Boone freshman Zach Prickett was the toughluck loser for the Stars. Prickett pitched five innings and gave up four hits and two runs. Zach McKenzie pitched the final two innings and gave up two runs, one earned.
“He was fantastic,” Barrientos said of Prickett, who also reached base three times. “He did a great job and competed. He was tough. Saturday, in his first game, it was nothing like that. Today he worked downhill. In his first game he left some things up, but he worked a lot more down today. I was excited to see him do well.”
The Stars had their best chance to score more runs in the fifth. Biesecker singled and Tyler Hale walked to put two on with one out.
Biesecker was caught stealing third for the second out, but Prickett was hit by a pitch and Zach McMann hit an infield single to load the bases.
McKenzie struck out to end the threat.
Biesecker went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Western Boone. McMann and Mitchell Graham had the other two hits for the Stars. Wilson and Prickett drew two walks apiece.
The Stars will have their third game in three days when they host University today.
“We have to focus on our mental approach,” Barrientos said. “If we are mentally tough, those three-straight games shouldn’t affect us. Physically, we are young so it shouldn’t be a problem. But mentally, that is going to be key. It will be a huge piece for us.”
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.