Tigers drop back-to-back games against Father Tolton, Nevada

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Langston Morgan was 2-for-3 against Father Tolton and scored two runs. David Hoover / CNO

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Carthage Tigers’ losing streak slides to three games after dropping two games to Father Tolton and Nevada on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

After opening the season 6-1, the Tigers stand at 6-4.

Carthage, 7, vs. Father Tolton, 11

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After playing eight games on the road, the Tigers welcomed in Father Tolton for the home opener Wednesday. Before the game, a ribbon cutting was held for the renovations made to Carl Lewton Stadium in preparation for the 2024 baseball season.

Landon Bland (1-0, 1.50 ERA) started for the Tigers scattering five hits across six innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out four. Bland didn’t factor into the decision.

Father Tolton jumped out to the lead in the first scoring one run on two hits.

In the second Carthage pushed across three runs on doubles from Zach Hoenshell and Brady Carlton, a bunt by Langston Morgan that scored Carlton and a single from Blayne Lilienkamp that scored Morgan.

Zach Hoenshell slides into home during the game Wednesday against Father Tolton. David Hoover / CNO

Father Tolton tied it back up in the third with two runs of their own. A leadoff single and errant pickoff attempt moved a runner to second, a walk followed and a double to left field scored two on an error in the relay throw.

Carthage jumped back ahead in the bottom of the sixth. After a leadoff walk to Ty Perry and a fielder’s choice, Hoenshell singled to left to put runners on first and second with only one out. Taylor Stevens-Diggs then grounded into what looked like might be an inning-ending double play, but a hard slide at second from Hoenshell broke up the double play and sent the ball sailing into the visitor’s dugout to score Gabe Madsen, who pinch-ran for Ethan Stark.

In the seventh, Carthage Head Coach Kevin Burgi called on last year’s team ERA leader, Nolan Brown, to close the game out for Carthage. However, Brown ran into trouble early issuing a leadoff walk, a stolen base and allowing a double to plate the tying run. From there, it was all Father Tolton. With only one out in the inning, the score had flipped from 4-3 to 8-4 and Burgi had to go to his pen and call on Carson Kinder. Kinder didn’t fair much better as Father Tolton added three runs to make it 11-4 before Carthage batted in their half of the inning.

The Tigers crept back into it with a leadoff hit from Morgan. A few batters later, Perry slashed a hit to left that got under the glove of the left fielder to clear the bases, but in the process, Perry was thrown out advancing to third. The Tigers found themselves on the wrong end of an 11-7 game.

Bradyn Tate had two stolen bases vs. Nevada Thursday. David Hoover / CNO

Carthage, 2, vs. Nevada, 18

In Thursday’s game, a big 12-run sixth inning from the visiting Nevada Tigers capped an 18-2 loss for Carthage.

Brodie Cole (1-2, 2.63 ERA) started for Carthage and went four innings, allowing six runs (three earned) on seven hits, striking out six and walking none.

Perry, Cooper Lilienkamp and B. Lilienkamp each collected a hit for Carthage. The Tigers committed five errors in the game. B. Lilienkamp, Kinder, Clay Conness and Perry all pitched in relief for Carthage.

“I like what I see. I like the fight. I’m pretty confident in our kids,” Burgi said. “They are playing the game the right way, and things haven’t gone our way. The staff is continuing to find ways to put our kids in the best situation to win and will continue to do so.

“Baseball is a beautiful game,” Burgi added. “It teaches you so many life lessons, and I think what I’ve learned this week is that sometimes you can approach things the right way and things don’t always go your way.

“I’m proud of our kids. We had a bad inning against Nevada and one bad inning against FT and still fought through and competed. We have a clubhouse full of young men that want to win. I’m confident in our seniors to take control and be leaders.”

Carthage next faces Hollister at Carl Lewton Stadium Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.

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