CATAWISSA RR — Baseball can be a funny game. Sometimes, mother nature can even play a role in how a game turns out.
That was the case for Southern Columbia in Wednesday’s windy game against Bloomsburg, which resulted in a 9-7 loss.
After Southern’s Jacob Petro retired the first two batters with strikeouts, Bloom’s Evan Long hit one out into the right field gap for a double. That’s when the wind started to become a factor.
Petro got the next batter to pop one up into foul territory. Right before the ball headed over the dugout and out of play, the wind carried it back towards the field, making it a catchable ball in foul play that could have gotten the Tigers out of the inning. However, the ball kept carrying and Bloomsburg took advantage of the extra opportunity.
Blaise Hock got the Panthers on the scoreboard by sending another ball out to right field. Nobody in Southern’s outfield could corral what would have been a routine fly ball on any other day, and Bloom scored its first run on the play.
A combination of some more hard hit balls, strong wind gusts, and funky ball movement led to some more miscues by the Tigers’ defense and two more runs crossing the plate for the visitors in the top half of the opening inning.
“We knew the wind was going to be a factor,” said Southern’s head coach Mike Myers. “We practiced with it before the game, but sometimes things happen and that’s just baseball.”
The hot bats continued to put pressure on Southern’s defense, and Bloom hopped out to a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning.
After an RBI double by Southern’s Preston Zachman got them on the board in the fourth, Shane Miller had a two-run homer in the fifth, making things 7-3. The rally continued for the Tigers in the fifth when they got the bases loaded and scored four more runs in the inning.
With the game tied up at seven in the sixth inning, the Panthers regained the lead by knocking in two more runs.
Southern threatened to score during its last at-bats in the seventh by getting some runners on base, but they could not string together another rally and lost 9-7.
“I’m proud of them and the way they fought back,” said Myers. “The kids are starting to realize the talent they have even though they’re young, and this will help them grow as players.”
The Tigers are back in action this afternoon, when they travel to Mount Carmel for a 4:30 contest. Note: This game was originally scheduled for Friday, but was moved to Thursday due to weather forecasts.