A fast start for the Carlisle Wildcats coupled with Dutch defensive struggles early led to another semifinals loss for the Pella baseball team.
The Little Dutch fell 5-3 at Principal Park Friday.
Pella spotted Carlisle two runs in the first to a talented top of the order, and allowed two more runs to score in the 2nd following a misplayed flyball double and two passed balls.
Head Coach Jesse Jablonski says the early deficit was a tough hole to climb out of, and stranding a large number of runners on offense didn’t allow the team to catch up.
“To me that was the one big key to the entire game was our inability to hit with runners in scoring position,” he says. “We leave the bases loaded in back-to-back innings, we leave two on in the sixth with a chance to tie it up and in games this, those are big moments and you’ve got to take advantage of at least one of those situations.”
Pella stranded the bases loaded twice and two runners in the sixth during the comeback attempt. Tyler Hillman pitched into the seventh, with all five Wildcat runs charged to him despite a large number of defensive mistakes and passed balls behind the plate. Jablonski says he was proud of how his right hander quieted Carlisle over the last half of the game.
“Tyler–early on, just missed some spots and made a few mistakes out over the middle of the plate and Carlisle made him pay for those, but he really made some great adjustments and started locating his fastball a lot more and changed speeds well later on and once he really did that, Carlisle really struggled to put any solid contact on him.”
Landon Vander Leest and Peyton Shull each had an RBI in the contest.
Pella finishes the season at 31-9 and in the state semifinals for the second straight year. They say farewell to five seniors.