The Montesano High School baseball team only had one bad inning against Tenino on Monday. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs that inning was too much to overcome in a 12-3 loss to the Beavers.
Montesano began their first game in eight days by giving up 10 runs in the first inning. The first two pitchers the Bulldogs sent to the hill allowed all 10 runs and combined for only one out.
After the top of the first inning, the Bulldogs settled in and outscored Tenino, 3-2, in the final six innings.
“We can’t hand them a 10 spot in the first inning,” coach Mike Bruner said. “You look at the rest of the game and it is a 3-2 ball game. We just didn’t come out to compete and we can’t play baseball that way.”
Against Hoquiam on March 20, the Bulldogs started out with a 9-2 lead after one inning before giving up 17 unanswered runs. With back-to-back losses by more than nine runs, Bruner said he sees a lack of competitive fire and he is ready to take steps to make sure the group gets back on track.
“We are going to do a lot of evaluating,” Bruner said. “We are going to have to do some soul searching and figure out how to come out ready to compete from pitch one or it is going to be a long season.”
One of the positives for Montesano was the performance of freshman Austin Peterson who came in to stop the bleeding in the first inning pitching two and two-thirds scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Offensively, the Bulldogs were led by senior Kody Usher who went 3 for 4 at the plate and junior Jacob Hliboki who went 1 for 2 with two walks and two RBIs.
The wet weather has not helped the Bulldogs this season as Montesano has only had four practices outdoors and only three games. The contest with Tenino was originally scheduled for March 25, but was postponed three times before the two teams met on Wednesday.
“There are positives, but baseball is a funny sport. You have to put the mental and emotional aspects with the physical or it just doesn’t do the job.”