Errors haunt Blazers as they fall to Wilson, 5-3

BIRDSBORO– With Mike Simmerman on the mound for Wilson and both teams searching for their third conference win of the season, Daniel Boone couldn’t afford to give the Bulldogs anything easy in their Berks Conference game on Tuesday afternoon.

But too many mistakes ended up costing the Blazers, as they committed two costly errors mixed with a few baserunning blunders in their 5-3 loss to Wilson at Daniel Boone High School.

“Overall, we lacked focus,’ said Daniel Boone (2-4, 5-5) head coach Jason McCord. “We had plenty of opportunities, but we didn’t make smart plays when it really mattered. Mentally, we just weren’t there.’

Simmerman took home the win for the Bulldogs (3-2, 4-8), letting up three runs (two earned) in 6 1/3 innings on nine hits and one walk while fanning two.

“Mike’s been very effective for us this season,’ said Wilson head coach Sal Raccuglia. “He does a great job of keeping batters off balance, which has helped him go deep into games. He had another really strong outing today.’

Bryant Schwoyer went 6 1/3 in the loss, as he gave up five runs (two earned) on four hits and six walks. He struck out three.

In the first at bat of the game, Wilson left fielder Ryan Post reached on a throwing error, and eventually came around to score on a Tim Whitmoyer single to right.

The Blazers put a man on base in each of the first three innings, but each threat was neutralized by errors on the basepaths. A pickoff in the first inning, a runner caught advancing on a groundout in the second and a double play on a line drive in the third plagued the Blazers out of the gate.

“That wasn’t the way we wanted to start the game,’ said McCord. “We were putting men on base and getting our chances, but we weren’t able to get anything out of it. It was frustrating.’

Daniel Boone did eventually get runners across as they scored three in the fourth spearheaded by a single from Joey Moyer (3-for-5) to lead off the inning. Moyer came around to score on Bryce Stout’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center, shortly followed by an RBI single from Schwoyer and a sacrifice fly from Devon Garner.

“That was a big inning for us,’ said Moyer. “We knew that if we could find a way to get to their bullpen, we could keep the edge in the game. (Simmerman) is a really tough pitcher, so we really wanted to get him shook out there.’

But the right-hander settled back in and persevered.

With runners threatening on second and third, Schwoyer made two straight plays in the field to force two quick outs.

However, it was a hard ground ball to third base that snuck past the defense that allowed two runs to cross and tie the game 3-3.

“We didn’t execute when we really needed to,’ said Schwoyer. “It’s a team loss, we had plenty of chances to take over this game, and we never capitalized. Team loss.’

Ryan Post and Gabe Hollenbach executed a perfect double-steal of second base and home in the top of the sixth inning to take the advantage. In the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs added an insurance run as Hollenbach reached first on a dropped third strike, which also allowed Jake Barczynski to cross the plate and make it 5-3.

After Ty Esenwein and Eric Schweitzer both reached base safely, Ian Roth came in for Mifflin and shut the door on the Blazers’ final threat.

“Just way too many mistakes,’ said McCord. “We did some things well out there, but we just didn’t execute the way we needed to when it counted most. This is one that will be in the back of our minds for a while.’

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