The Truman baseball team had been struggling on offense so far in the 2018 season.
Coming into the game against Raytown, Truman averaged 5.5 runs per game, with 25 of 50 of its runs coming in one game against St. Michael the Archangel.
Other than the win over St. Michael, the Patriots have scored more than four runs in a single game only once.
It looked like Truman might break out of it when it scored two runs in the top of the first inning in a Suburban Big Six matchup with Raytown. However, some control issues early for Truman ace Alex Khan and the lack of offense after the first led to a 6-3 loss Wednesday at home.
“We’re just not putting the ball in play on a consistent basis,” Truman coach Corey Lathrom said. “We did a good job at not looking at strike three, which had been a big issue. I just feel like we need to find a balance. We are not being patient enough right now and swinging at pitcher’s pitches. And we’re not putting pressure on the defense by putting the ball in play or putting pressure on the pitcher by working deep in the count.”
Khan said he was overstriding early, and it caused him to be off with his command.
His offense spotted him two runs when catcher Nick Wheeler drove in Josh Patrick with an RBI triple and scored on a passed ball to take the early lead.
After that, Raytown took over.
The Blue Jays used a pair of walks and a hit batter to score three runs off Khan in the bottom of the first. Quelann Coleman’s RBI groundout and Brice Taylor’s two-run single gave Raytown the lead.
In the second, David Newton drew a one-out walk, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on Coleman’s fielder’s choice grounder. Coleman later extended the lead to 5-2 in the fourth with an RBI single to center field. Truman center fielder Nate Camby appeared he would throw out at Raytown’s Devin Suddeth at the plate on the play, but the ball popped out of Wheeler’s glove, allowing the run to score.
“We didn’t throw enough strikes in the first inning,” Lathrom said. “Once we get up on a team, we need to make them earn their way on base. We didn’t pitch very efficiently.
“Alex pitched well once he settled in. He got his pitch count up, too high.”
Khan surrendered five runs on three hits and struck out four in four innings.
“After the second inning, I figured out I was striding out a little too far,” Khan said. “I fixed it after that and started getting the ball over the plate. After that, I had a little more velocity on my fastball.”
After Braeden Schramm reached on an infield error, Patrick drove him in by lining a single to center field in the top of the fifth.
The only two Patriots to reach base after that were Cameron Lusso, who was hit by a pitch in the sixth; and Schramm, who singled in the seventh but was thrown out at second trying to stretch it to a double.
Zahir McKelvy hit an RBI single off Patriots reliever Brett Lundquist in the bottom of the fifth for Raytown’s final run.
Patrick paced the Truman offense, going 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.