With Greencastle's baseball season still young, head coach Troy Greenlee and his Tiger Cubs are still searching for themselves.
GHS dropped its contest with visiting Brown County 6-0 Saturday in a game that saw its share of breaks go against the Tiger Cubs.
The most intense moment of the game came in the fifth inning when Justin Bartrum hit a shot to the shortstop who gunned down Graham Shuee at second. Shuee peeled off out of the baseline, making way for an anticipated double-play attempt. After a short conference at second by the umpires, they concluded Shuee had interfered with the play and called Bartum out as well.
This brought Greenlee onto the field to express his displeasure with the call. After some jeers from the Brown County crowd, the call stood and left the GHS dugout in obvious frustration.
Greenlee commented after the game that officials are putting a big emphasis on obstruction this season, but believes that the calls should be made by taking each play into consideration.
"Graham peeled off and got out of the way but the umpire said he had to slide there. That's true if there's a play but there was no play. I understand there are certain rules they're trying to enforce this year but you also have to understand Baseball 101," Greenlee said. "I told our guys to slide no matter what."
Greencastle started strong as Michael Mahoney pitched the Tiger Cubs to a three up and three down first inning and struck out the first batter in the second. But things changed quickly after that.
The Eagles' starting pitcher Pete Stuart reached on a walk then stole second. Mike Leggins also received a walk. Both would score in the inning. After a hit batter, Will Anderson hit a shot up the middle that Mahoney stopped but couldn't locate to get the out at first. When the second inning came to its conclusion, the Tiger Cubs found themselves down 3-0. Brown County added an additional run in the third and two more in the fifth inning.
The fifth inning is one the Tiger Cubs would like to forget as they committed three errors in the inning, allowing the Eagles to score. Greenlee acknowledged the lack of field time due to weather and spring break could be having an effect on his squad.
"Spring break was basically a week of non-practice, so we come back Monday and Tuesday and play two of our biggest conference games with not really knowing our team," he said. "I told them after the game not to get down on themselves. Taking infield practice was about as much practice as they've had on the field."
Although the Greencastle bats were dormant most of the day, Greenlee thinks that will improve with more practice on the field. Pitching is another issue the Tiger Cubs are dealing with, but the trio of pitchers they used on Saturday held their own.
"I thought we pitched well enough to win the game. We just didn't have enough good at bats and hits to string some hits together to win it," Greenlee said.
Mahoney was pulled after the second inning, with Logan Grzesiek relieving for three innings. Starting catcher Kendall Faust tossed the final two for GHS, recording a team-high four strikeouts.
Blake Robinson was a bright spot for Greencastle, going 2-for-3 with a double.
When asked after the contest about what the team needs to do to turn the corner, Greenlee broke it down to basics.
"There's no magic formula, we just have to hang in there and work to get better," he said.
Greencastle will host Rockville at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Brown County 031 020 0 -- 6 7 0
Greencastle 000 000 0 -- 0 5 5
WP -- Stuart
LP -- Mahoney
2B -- Robinson (GHS), Davern (BCHS)
Next game -- Greencastle hosts Rockville at 5 p.m. Tuesday.