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Trojans punish Cougars’ pitching

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By Joe Vaccarelli

The Evergreen Cougars’ summer league baseball team was enjoying a fine season. That is until they ran into a tough Longmont team that capitalized on several Cougar miscues and used five home runs to power its way past Evergreen, 13-2, on June 19 at Evergreen High School.

“We’re having a great season, that’s why it was so disappointing,” Cougars head coach Terry Hensley said. “We knew that this was going to be a good team, and because we’ve been playing so well, I took this as ‘Hey, let’s see how good we really are.’ … I was very optimistic going into this game so that makes the effort we put onto the field more disappointing.”

Things didn’t look too bad early on for the Cougars as they took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning off of a leadoff solo home run by Ethan Murphy and a double by K.J. Schaffner, who would come around to score on a throwing error.

Longmont regained the lead in third inning off back-to-back home runs, but Evergreen played itself out of the game in the top of the fourth inning when the Cougars were one out away from getting to bat down only a run. But a costly error kept the inning alive and Longmont turned that into seven runs, all off starting pitcher Lute Moss, to build a 10-2 lead.

“Longmont’s a very good baseball team, and if you give them more opportunities, they’ll make you pay and we learned that today the hard way,” Hensley said.

Longmont increased its lead in the fifth inning with a three-run home run off relief pitcher Jack Daly. Evergreen didn’t score in its half of the fifth, ending the game there after the 10-run mercy rule was invoked.

The Cougars struggled in all aspects of the game — failing to get key outs, playing shaky defense and only mustering up five hits, two of which by Schaffner.

“It was very apparent that, today being Saturday, we had a lot of players thinking about doing something else other than baseball,” Hensley said. “We had a player whose alarm didn’t go off and he didn’t get here on time and that was kind of the whole attitude of the entire game. Our alarm clock didn’t go off and it showed with our performance.”