But, similar to what they did last Tuesday at Council Grove, Abilene managed to score the winning run in the extra inning to defeat Beloit, 5-4. That was after dropping the opener 2-1.
“It’s the same thing they did earlier in the week against Council Grove,” said coach Andy Cook. “We have three doubleheaders this week and we’re watching our pitch count, so let’s just play eight inning games.
“But those are the games that we win,” he added. “Like I told them, these are games you will remember. These are the memories. Never give up. We lose a close one in the first one but they never gave up. Those games are fun. They are nerve-racking but they are fun.”
It was in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Cowboys trailed 4-3 with two outs when Bryce Meuli singled to first. Kane Kelly was hit by a pitch and the winning run was on base. Meuli took advantage of a pitching miscue to reach third. Matt McClanahan walked , loading the bases.
Chad Beetch hit a bouncing single to the second base for an RBI single to tie the game at four. But Beloit’s second baseman tossed the ball to the shortstop who was not covering the bag but backing up the hit and the ball hit the dirt. That allowed Kelly to score the winning run. It was the second hit of the game for Beetch and his third RBI.
“Anyone who has watched us early in the season and watched us tonight, knows that this is a completely different group,” Cook said. “They have really matured defensively. Offensively, they are productive enough.”
Dalton Millican pitched all eight innings to get the win. He gave up nine hits and struck out eight.
“My hat goes off to Dalton Millican,” Cook said. “He throws 56 pitches on Tuesday and then comes back and throws eight innings tonight. His pitch count wasn’t high. He just gutted out eight innings. My hat goes out to him on senior night. It was probably his best performance of his high school career.”
Thursday’s game was a makeup from last Friday’s rainout. Abilene, 4-12, travels to Wamego today for another doubleheader.
“I am awful proud of what our kids did this week,” Cook said. “We are going to go out and strap it up again tomorrow, I guess. We are not really sure who we will pitch but we are going to go play ball.
“Nobody has the kind of pitching to play six games,” he added. “I will tell you that in this group, everybody can pitch. I am not worried about having somebody on the hill. I kind of feel that our kids will bring their best game. It’s Wamego.”
Abilene scored two runs in the bottom of the first to lead 2-0. Alex Friederich and Nolan Berry both singled and Kane Kelly hit an RBI single.
Mueli reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the fourth and Beetch hit a run scoring single.
Beloit scored a run in the first and two in the third to tie the game.
In game one, Beloit scored two runs in the top of the fourth. Abilene scored its run as Berry walked and scored on an RBI single by Kelly.
In the bottom of the seventh, Chase Stalder singled and the tying run was at first. Grant Prichard hit a blast to left field, but Beloit’s John Mosher made a game-saving catch.
Bryce Meuli pitched four innings and gave up just one hit and struck out six in game one. Nolan Barry finished.
Beloit 2, Abilene 1
Beloit 0 0 0 2 0 0 0—2
Abilene 0 0 0 1 0 0 0—1
Abilene (Ab, H, R): Kane Kelly 3 2 0, Matt McClanahan 3 1 0, Alex Friedrich 4 0 0, Chase Stalder 3 2 0, Bryce Meuili 2 0 0, Grant Prichard 4 0 0, Nolan Berry 2 1 1, Chris Sease 3 0 0. Totals 27 6 1.
Abilene 5, Beloit 4
Beloit 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1—4
Abilene 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 2—5
Abilene: Tanner Hoekman 3 0 0, Kane Kelly 3 1 1, Matt McCanahan 3 1 0, Alex Friederich 4 1 1, Bryce Meuli 4 2 2, Grant Prichard 4 0 0, Colton Mills 2 0 0, Nolan Berry 3 1 1, Chad Beetch 4 2 0. Totals 30 8 5.