The LaGrange Academy Warriors were only one base hit away from their first win of the season, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The Warriors left the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning as they fell to the Arlington Christian Eagles 12-11 and remained winless.
“We had to battle from the top of the first inning, all day long,” Academy coach Charles Parker said. “Eventually it just wore us out.”
The long day for the Warriors started in the first inning.
Thanks to a walk, sloppy defense, and an error, the Warriors found themselves down three runs.
The trend continued for the Warriors going into the second inning when a leadoff double along with another error gave the Eagles another three runs and a 6-0 lead.
The Warriors started to claw back in the first when Justin Lewis, Brannon Weathers, and Ben Prescott all singled to load the bases.
Lewis scored when Matt Middlebrooks drew a walk.
The Eagles got the run back in the top of the third, but the Warriors came through with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Lewis walked, Drew Moody singled, and Jay Miller ripped a double to center, bringing home two runs and lessened the Eagle lead to two.
Things were going good for the Warriors in the sixth inning when they tied the game on a two-RBI single from Weathers, which evened the score.
The Eagles pushed across four runs of their own at the top of the next inning to take a 11-7 lead, and with an opening strikeout in the bottom of the inning, it looked as things were over for the Warriors.
True to their name, the Warriors battled back, getting another single from Moody and Miller, as well as Middlebrooks garnering a walk. The bases were loaded when Jordan Ring laced a triple down the left-field line, clearing the bases and pulling the Warriors within one.
Weathers found the Warriors answer a short time later when he laced an RBI single tying the game 11-11 and forcing extra innings.
As much as the the Warriors tried to fight back, at times in the game they still fell victim to mental lapses.
In the eighth, two errors on the same play cost the Warriors a run, and going into the bottom of the inning they found themselves having to fight back once again.
Leadoff man Prescott drew his fourth walk of the night, which was followed by a well-placed bunt by Malcolm Kenyon, and the Warriors found themselves with two on and nobody out.
A fielder’s choice ground ball moved the runners over, quickly followed by another out and the team was down to its last breath.
The Warriors last breath lasted a few more minutes when Miller drew a walk bringing up Ring.
With tension in the air and Warrior fans holding their breath, Ring swung and made contact, sending a soaring pop up that became the games final out.
“We had a golden opportunity to win our first game,” Parker said, “but that’s the way this game goes sometimes. I’m proud of us fighting back and getting back into the game, but at some point that won’t cut it, we have to fight back and win.”
The Warriors have an away game at Harvester on Friday before taking a week off for spring break.