Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s manager Mike Rooney felt that only one person was responsible for the 9-8 loss Friday afternoon to Omaha (Neb.) KB Building Services at Hidden Valley Park – Mike Rooney.
“I just made some substitutions too early,” Rooney said after the Border Wars Tournament pool play loss at Jim Moran Field. “I thought the game was in hand and I put in some subs sooner than I should’ve.”
Rooney likely felt secure when the A’s raced to an 8-1 advantage after three innings. The A’s built their seven-run lead with two runs in the first, then answered a BK run in the top of the second with three runs in the bottom of the second and three more runs in the third.
KB began its rally with a four-run, four-hit fifth, then took the lead with four runs in the top of the seventh. Cameron Kully and Trevor Barajas each doubled in the seventh to help power KB’s comeback.
It’s the kind of comeback KB head coach Bob Greco has seen repeatedly.
During the school year, Greco coaches the BK players when they play for Westside High School in Omaha, Neb. This spring, he saw them respond from an 18-3 loss to Millard West in the first round of Nebraska’s Class A state high school tournament by going on to finish as runner-up in the double-elimination competition.
“That’s probably our best quality is that we don’t give up,” Greco said. “We have some fighters. … We’re young and we’re small, but we fight.”
The A’s went down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
For the A’s, the defeat was the second of two one-run losses Friday. They lost to Clever (Mo.) Southwest 6-5, also at Hidden Valley.
The A’s (16-6) were forced to play catch-up ball in their first defeat, as Clever took a 3-0 second-inning lead. Blue Springs cut it to 3-2 in the fourth.
Clever added a run in the top of the fifth. The A’s tied it with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Clever then went up 6-4 in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back doubles produced the A’s final run in the bottom of the seventh.
“We just came up a little short,” Rooney said. “They’re an outstanding ballclub, but I like the way we competed.”
The A’s will finish pool play with two more games Saturday.
“We’ll find out what type of competitors we are,” Rooney said.