CAMDEN — It’s been a struggle on the diamond for Preble Shawnee’s baseball team.
The Arrows dropped five straight last week to see their record dip to 1-10 overall and 0-8 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division.
On Tuesday, April 12, Preble Shawnee got back to playing baseball after over a week off due to the bad weather.
Shawnee traveled to New Miami where they fell 5-4 despite outhitting the Vikings, 8-4.
With a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth, a dropped third strike scored the runners from third and second due to errors.
“We just can’t seem to buy a break,” Shawnee coach Joe Leach said. “I had to scratch our starting catcher due to an auto accident before the game.”
Leading the Arrows’ offense was Luke Lovely with two hits and a double. Joby Williams added two hits and Clayton Morgan had a double.
Chase Thompson, Eli Moreland and Payton Roberts each had hits.
On Wednesday, Shawnee traveled to Dixie and lost another close contest, 4-1.
The game remained close until the bottom of the sixth, when the Greyhounds took advantage of a couple of Shawnee errors.
“We played solid defense until the sixth inning, but we could not get our bats going in the game,” Leach said. “Dixie’s pitcher was not throwing as fast as what we had seen all year and we were out in front all day. I told our guys we need to be patient and wait for the pitch, but we couldn’t adjust.”
The Arrows’ offense was led by Morgan with two hits. Cody Chesnut, Lovely and Moreland each had a hit..
On Thursday, Shawnee visited Carlisle in what was a scoring fest by both teams.
Shawnee jumped out to an early lead, getting two runs in the second and six more in the fifth. With bases still loaded in the top of the fifth and with one out, the Arrows couldn’t get another run across.
“That was a critical point in the game for us — if we score a couple more runs in the fifth inning we would have had Carlisle on their heels,” Leach said.
When starting pitcher Chesnut had to come out in the bottom of the fifth inning due to an injury, the Arrows’ relief pitching couldn’t hold the Indians’ offense.
Carlisle scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, making the score 8-5.
“I told our guys we still had the lead and we needed to continue to score more runs to put pressure on them,” Leach said.
The Arrows scored two more runs in the top of the sixth, but the Indians came back with seven runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 12-10 lead.
“We allowed too many batters to reach base via walks and they hit the ball hard on us the last two innings. This was by far the best team we faced this year,” Leach said.
Shawnee’s offense was led by Thomson, who had three hits, including a double. Moreland had three hits, Trey Smith added a double, and Morgan, Chesnut, Dylan Weireter, and Payton Roberts all had singles.
On Friday, the Arrows traveled to Waynesville to face last year’s SWBL champs. The game was close through four innings, with the Spartans up 6-3.
Waynesville scored a couple runs in the fifth to extend their lead 8-3. In the sixth, Shawnee pitching could not stop the Spartans, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk to end the contest, 13-3.
“We ran out of pitching by the end of the game. Payton Roberts had a good start, but I pulled him out due to the high pitch count. Because I used several guys the night before against Carlisle I didn’t have a enough arms to battle with them,” Leach said.
The Arrow offense was led by freshman Cameron Morgan with two hits, Moreland with a double and Eryk Smith with a hit.
“We did not have a good week when you look at the losses we had, however we battled well against every team despite having several guys down and out to injuries and sickness,” Leach said.
On Saturday, Shawnee baseball took part in a fundraiser and community service event. Players bagged groceries at Camden Fresh Foods, greeted customers at the Camden Crossing and Dollar General, worked on the youth baseball fields and swept the curbs on the streets in downtown Camden.
“We would like to thank those who made donations, and the businesses who allowed us to do this fundraiser for the Arrows’ high school baseball program. Also Kelly Doran, who worked with my guys all day sweeping and cleaning up Camden streets,” Leach said.
The schedule for next week does not get any easier for the Arrows, as they are scheduled to host Waynesville Monday, Carlisle on Tuesday and Northridge Wednesday. They finish the week with a game at Northridge on Friday and a doubleheader at National Trail on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH