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TMP settles for split

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

Outside of a 12-5 Game 1 loss at Garden City on April 8, the Thomas More Prep-Marian baseball team had made easy work of each its opponents heading into Thursday's doubleheader with Hoisington, including wins of 20-2 and 12-0 against Ellis on Tuesday.

And it's partly for this reason TMP coach Brian Schumacher believes his team came up short to Hoisington in Game 1 of Thursday's home opener.

"I think they had that mentality that the same thing was going to happen coming into this game," Schumacher said. "They weren't selective and they weren't swinging at the pitches they should have been. And that's what ended up costing us. And hand it to Hoisington. They played well and made some nice plays and did the things they needed to come out with a win."

Despite getting outhit 13-6, the Cardinals beat TMP 4-3 in Game 1. Game 2 was a different story, with TMP cruising to an 11-0 win in five innings at the TMP baseball field.

The Monarchs fell into a 3-0 hole heading into the bottom of the fourth inning in Game 1 before a single by Cameron Brin scored Grant Romme to get TMP on the board. Hoisington got the run back in the fifth inning and led 4-1 going to the bottom of the fifth.

TMP had plenty of chances from there, but failed to capitalize. The Monarchs had the bases loaded with one out in the fifth, but back-to-back pop ups ended the inning. TMP also managed to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth, but settled for a single run and trailed 4-2 heading to the final inning.

Brin scored with no outs on a throwing error after getting on base with a single, and TMP was in a good position down 4-3 with no outs and a runner on second. Then the next three batters all hit into outs to allow Hoisington to hang on for the win.

"They did the little things and we didn't," Schumacher said. "We didn't have the key at-bats when we needed to. We just weren't mentally prepared and we talked about that after the games."

Despite a solid performance on the mound, Brin took the loss for TMP in Game 1. He pitched all seven innings, striking out seven batters and gave up two earned runs.

Game 2 was an opportunity for TMP to make up for its lackluster performance in the first game. The Monarchs hit through the order in the bottom of the first inning and jumped out to a 5-0 lead. That lead grew to 9-0 after the Monarchs tacked on four more runs in the second inning. Two more runs in the third and solid defense in the fourth and fifth innings led to an easy Game 2 win for the Monarchs.

Braiden Werth got the win for TMP in Game 2, pitching all five innings while giving up four hits, no walks and striking out five batters.

Justin Pfeifer led the Monarchs with three RBI, while Ryan Schippers led the way with three runs. TMP benefited heavily from nine walked batters.

"Obviously, they had a little more of a control problem, pitching wise. We got a few guys on via the base on balls. But still, we took advantage of their mistakes and just hit the ball a lot better," Schumacher said of Game 2. "Unfortunately we took a loss, but let that be a lesson to where we come out in the future that we are ready right off the bat."

TMP (6-2) is off until Tuesday when it hosts Great Bend in a doubleheader.