Slow start, sloppy play lead to Saguaro baseball loss to Williams Field

The Saguaro Sabercats baseball team went up against the Williams Field Black Hawks on Tuesday, but proved to be unsuccessful in maintaining focus, resulting in a final score of 14-11.

Saguaro High School

“Unfortunately, it was the first time all season we looked average in all phases. We didn’t pitch all that well, with 14 runs given up,” Head Coach Joe Muecke said.

Saguaro started off fairly strong at the top of the first inning, subsequently making strikeouts against Williams Field. However, this inning alone didn’t set the tone for the rest of the game. “Our team came out of the gates in the first inning and we were pretty flat. We didn’t play very well at all,” senior Luke Eigsti said.

Eigsti went 2 for 4 in his at-bats. He is a Division 1-bound baseball player and has committed to the University of Alabama Birmingham.

At the top of the third inning, senior Tyler Jones took his righteous spot at the pitching mound in place of Mack Schroeder.

While Williams Field kept on hitting straight into the outfield, Saguaro seemed to be slowly falling apart. Sloppiness and little mistakes were causing Saguaro quite a bit of damage.

Controversy soon become the main theme of the inning due to calls made by the umpires. Saguaro was intensely displeased.

“Let’s just play the game,” Jones shouted from his stance on the mound after dealing with the unfortunate call.

“We didn’t agree with several of the umpires calls and, while we were so busy focusing on that, we lost focus on the things that we could control in an effort to win the ballgame. Part of that is on me from a team leadership standpoint. I was pretty upset about some calls while I was pitching, and when I carried that into the dugout, a lot of guys also took on that mentality,” Jones said.

“I think this happened because we got caught stat-watching; on paper this game should have been very one sided in our favor. Probably one of the bigger challenges for all coaches at this level is finding the consistency in the focus, to maintain a certain level of play and execution regardless of the opponent, umpires, or situation,” Coach Muecke said.

Coach Muecke also emphasized how some calls that went against his team negatively impacted the team as a whole.

“We had some tough calls and situations go against us, and how we handled the adversity exposed our inexperience and youth,” Muecke said.

The game took yet another downturn.

“At one point the game was 11-0 in the fourth inning, in contrast to most other games this season where by that time we usually have a somewhat comfortable lead,” Jones said.

Saguaro was rallying back and looking for a chance to overcome the deficit. As the sun was setting on scattered sunflower seeds, Saguaro had successfully scored eight points.

“We fought hard and battled almost all the way back, the final score being 14-11, but if we executed in situations the way we have been all season long, then we would have walked away with a win, which unfortunately didn’t happen,” Jones said.

Coach Muecke praised Williams Field for its performance in the game.

“Hats off to Williams Field, who played probably one of their better games of the year, and got up for the challenge against our team who has been playing pretty good up to that point,” said the coach.

Coach Muecke shared his discussion with the team following the loss.\

“There were a few consequences and team discussion the next day, based on our body language, arguing with umpires, and overall conduct. That is not the ‘men of character’ we represent. It was a teachable moment for great group of ‘young men’ who truly are ‘men of character,’ but demonstrated youthful inexperience in handling a day full of emotional, physical, and mental adversity,” Coach Muecke said.

Editor’s Note: Taylor Bahrijczuk is a journalism student at Arizona State University.

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