East Allegheny baseball can't find offense in loss
East Allegheny pitcher Dustin Welsh knows when he takes the mound that there is little room for mistakes.
One miscue from a team that struggles generating offensive like the Wildcats typically results in a loss.
For the better part of Wednesday's Section 4-AAA game against Indiana, Welsh was mistake-free, and East Allegheny found itself in a 1-1 game heading into the fifth inning.
The one mistake Welsh made ended up costing East Allegheny the game.
Welsh's hung a 2-2, two-out curveball to Trent Ream, who laced a double to center, to gave Indiana a 3-1 lead. The Indians tacked on two more against the dejected Wildcats in the seventh and went on for a 5-1 win.
"We've had this happen all year," East Allegheny coach Ryan Encapera said. "We have had a lot of close games, and if we make a mistake in the field or if we don't score a couple then that's it. You create your opportunities and we just haven't created many opportunities for ourselves offensively, and that happened again today."
East Allegheny (3-7, 1-4) managed only three hits off Ream and scored its only run on a first-inning error.
Other than that, East Allegheny could only muster three more base runners the rest of the game.
"Runs are at a premium for us," Encapera said. "We know if we can keep it close, we will be there. We just need a better effort."
Not from Welsh.
The senior righty allowed only four hits through six innings before he tired in the seventh and gave up three hits and two runs.
Welsh struck out seven and walked three in picking up the loss.
"That's a good hitting lineup and Dustin pitched well," Encapera said.
However, Welsh was upstaged by Ream's performance.
Ream went the distance allowing only infield hits to Jordan Williams and Casey Holshue and a single by Adam Jacko in the fourth.
Other than that, Ream was dominant.
"I am very disappointed," Encapera said. "He is a good pitcher, but we need to hit the ball better than that. We need to improve our hitting. We work on it every day in practice. Guys have to change their approach sometimes."
East Allegheny did have a chance in the fourth when Jacko singled to lead off the inning and the stole second. After a pair of strikeouts, Holshue rolled one up the middle that appeared heading to the outfield.
However, Indiana (5-6, 4-2) second baseman P.J. Kuta's diving stop kept the ball in the infield preventing Jacko from scoring. Josh Strawins flew out to center field a few pitches later to end the rally.
"They say baseball is a game of inches and that's it right there," Encapera said. "We could've taken a 2-1 lead there and who knows what happens after that."
Ream didn't allow a hit the rest of the way to lead Indiana to the win.
The Indians got three hits and an RBI from Sean Thompson and RBI from Nick Holuta and Blake Shields.
"We are going to keep working and battling," Encapera said. "That's all we can do."