Lovell Mustangs drop doubleheader in Billings Saturday

By: 
Stormy Jameson

The Lovell Mustangs traveled to Billings for a doubleheader against the Cardinals on Saturday, April 27.
In the first game, both teams were strong on the mound, but the Cardinals edged the Mustangs at the plate to take the 2-0 victory.
Tucker Jackson got the nod on the hill to pitch and went four complete innings, only allowing one hit, walking three and striking out three batters without giving up a run.
Alex Hedges came in for relief to finish the final two innings for the Mustangs and gave up three hits, two runs, one walk and two outs via strikeout.
“I was very pleased with how all our pitchers threw the baseball in both games,” Mustangs head coach Michael Jameson said. “We did a good job working ahead, and we limited hard contact.
“This early in the season, our guys are on a pitch count, but overall I was very pleased with our pitching performance on the day.”
At the plate in game one, the Mustangs couldn’t string together productive innings and finished with only four total hits and tallied 11 strikeouts.
Sluggers Carlos Rodriguez, Cash Wassmer, Rocco Rael and Jackson all had one hit each in the game.
“Offensively, we struggled in our first game off of live action hitting,” Jameson said. “I think some of that has to do with being anxious and over aggressive, and some of that simply takes time.”
In the second game, despite a five-run deficit in the sixth inning, the Mustangs almost pulled off the comeback before falling 5-4.
Lafe Files got the start on the mound, going 3.1 innings, giving up three hits and one run, with three walks and one strikeout.
Rodriguez pitched 1.2 innings in relief, allowing three hits and three additional runs, fanning two batters.
Blake Wilson closed out the final inning, allowing two hits and one final run, striking out one.
After the Cardinals took the five runs into the top of the seventh inning, the Mustangs fought back and showed signs of life offensively with four runs crossing the plate in the final inning.
Rodriguez, Wassmer, Files and Jacob Bischoff accounted for the four hits at the plate in game two as the Mustangs again struggled with strikeouts with a total of 12 out of the 21 total outs.
“Hitting is hard,” Jameson said. “We work a lot on hitting during practice, but it’s hard to simulate live action.”
Going forward, the Mustangs will continue to talk about approaches and having a plan at the plate to understand what the pitcher is trying to do in different situations.
“We had 12 strikeouts looking out of the 23 we had, so our two-strike approach is a big point of emphasis,” Jameson said. “We need to be able to put the ball in play and put the pressure on the defense.”
“We have some excellent hitters, and I look for them to make some adjustments and get much better results this coming weekend,” Jameson added.
Defensively the Mustangs played clean baseball and were able to make the routine plays.
“There was good tracking done on fly balls in their big outfield, and Wassmer had an excellent defensive game behind the plate as he threw out three runners attempting to steal, blocked balls well and called a good game,” said Jameson.
The Mustangs have their home opener on Saturday in Cowley as they take on the Riverton Raiders in a doubleheader at 4 and 6 p.m.

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