Errors costly for Blue Springs Post 499 Fike in Wood Bat Invitational loss

By Michael Smith
Special to The Examiner
Blue Springs Post 499 Fike's Hunter Hughes, center, races toward third base on a teammate's hit in Thursday's game against Omaha Post 311 South in the American Legion Wood Bat Invitational at Hidden Valley Park. Fike led 2-0 early but fell 6-2.

Blue Springs Post 499 Fike’s chances to advance in the American Legion Wood Bat Invitational took a big hit on Thursday. 

On the opening day Wednesday, Fike split a pair of games, ending its day on the wrong side of a Levi Fischer no-hitter in a loss to DeSoto (Mo.) SMCI. 

On Thursday against Omaha (Neb.) Post 331 South, Blue Springs wasn’t dominated by the opposing pitcher, but was a victim of self-inflicted wounds. 

Fike hurt its chances of making the 32nd annual tournament’s championship bracket as it committed four errors that led to four runs for South Omaha in the fourth inning in a 6-2 loss at Jim Moran Field at Hidden Valley Park. 

Blue Springs led 2-0 going into the fourth as starting pitcher Trenton Trieb was able to strand two base runners in each of the second and third innings. 

A walk and an infield error gave South Omaha two base runners with only one out. Riley Long drove in a run on a sharp RBI single to left field. 

Then three errors – two on the same play – led to three runs and gave South Omaha a 4-2 lead and all the momentum. 

Blue Springs Post 499 Fike starting pitcher Trenton Trieb throws  in Thursday's game against Omaha Post 311 South in the American Legion Wood Bat Invitational at Hidden Valley Park. Fike led 2-0 early but fell 6-2.

“Just too many mistakes,” Fike manager Matt Hagerty said. “It was extra out for them and we couldn’t get out of the inning when we had chances to. 

“Trent did a good job. He just ran out of gas.” 

Roberto DeLeon tacked on two more runs for Post 331 South with RBI singles in the fifth and sixth innings. 

Fike’s offense performed better than it did against DeSoto, but could only muster two runs on 10 hits. The team stranded four runners in the first three innings without scoring a run against starting pitcher Gus Hodoly. 

Fike finally broke through in the top of the fourth when it had runners on the corners with no outs. Bayler Andersen scored from third base after catcher Sam Hoddy tried to throw out Shorty Campbell, who stole second base. 

Blue Springs Post 499 Fike catcher Ty Campbell tags out Omaha Post 311 South runner Jamin Cleek as he tries to score during Thursday's game in the American Legion Wood Bat Invitational at Hidden Valley Park. Fike led 2-0 early but fell 6-2.

Campbell later scored on a single by Johnny Miles. He originally stopped at third, but Campbell was able to score when an outfielder bobbled the ball. After that, Hodoly induced a groundout and got two strikeouts to end the threat. 

“We need a better approach at the plate,” Hagerty said. “We’ve got guys trying too hard. Sometimes that gets you in more trouble than anything.” 

In the final three innings, Blue Springs got four runners on base, but was unable to push any of them across. Hodoly ended up throwing a complete game on 106 pitches. 

“Our pitcher prides himself on working ahead in the count,” South Omaha manager Jared Schwieger said. “He did exactly what he needed to do. 

“He was up there in pitches in the third or fourth inning. He just kind of dialed in and didn’t waste pitches. He was efficient at the end.” 

Ty Campbell, Kayden Albertson and Jacob Rehkow led Blue Springs with two hits apiece.

Blue Springs Post 499 Fike's Bayler Andersen races toward third base on a teammate's hit in Thursday's game against Omaha Post 311 South in the American Legion Wood Bat Invitational at Hidden Valley Park. Fike led 2-0 early but fell 6-2.