By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Model baseball team fell 11-7 to Somerset (5-4) on the road Monday, but showed the kind of fight coach Shannon Davis has been looking for all season.
The Patriots twice battled back after the Briar Jumpers had taken big leads, the second time pulling them within 9-7 in the sixth inning.
But Somerset put the game away with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Davis said he was encouraged by the improvement he saw in his team on Monday.
“The thing I keep telling these kids is that we have got to continue to battle and continue to fight, fight, fight. In the past, when a team got up on us like this they would give up but they didn’t do that today,” Davis said. “That is a good sign. We are 0-6 right now but we are making progress each game. That’s what I ask of them is a progression and improvement each game.”
Trailing Somerset 4-0, the Patriots’ offense came alive in the fifth inning, sending seven batters to the plate.
Joseph Hampton and Turner Curtis got things started with back-to-back singles.
A.J. Hammons popped up a bunt attempt and the pinch runner for Curtis was doubled off first base for two quick outs.
But, Jesse Middleton, who had a big day, in the field, at the plate and on the mound, singled to center to score Hampton to cut the SHS lead to 4-1.
After Ray White drew a walk, Cody Jones doubled off the centerfield wall to score both Middleton and White to pull the Patriots to within 4-3.
The Briar Jumpers came right back in their half of the fifth, scoring four runs off Hammons, who relieved starter Jared Adams, to go up 9-3.
But once again, the Patriots refused to quit and fought back in the sixth inning.
With one out, Adams singled to right and Hampton followed that up with a double to right.
Curtis brought Adams in with a fielders choice to cut the lead to 9-4.
Hammons reached on a walk, then Middleton drilled a double to center field to bring in Hampton and Hammons to get the Patriots to within 9-6.
Middleton scored one batter later on a throwing error by Somerset shortstop Will Lange on a ground ball by White, to make it 9-7,
But the Briar Jumpers got two runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 11-7 and hung on in the seventh inning for the win.
Middleton and Jones led the Patriots’ offense. Middleton had two singles and a double and three RBI, while Jones had a single and a double and two RBI. White and Curtis had one single and one RBI each and Baker and Adams also added one single each.
On the mound, Adams went three innings, giving up four hits and two runs, while striking out two batters and walking three.
Hammons went 2 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and walking two batters.
Middleton pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up one hit and walking one batter.
Davis said his team is still making mistakes that are costing them games, but when they eliminate some of those, they will be all right.
“We’ve got to find a way to win and keep the game close where we can make plays and find a way to win,” Davis said. “We are 0-6 and we are a break or two away each game, but we are just not making that play that gets us over the hump. It will all come together. Everybody came out here today and they played and competed for seven innings and didn’t give up and that is all I ask. We can build on that and we’ll get the wins. The season’s still young and I know this team can do it.”
Model will be back in action on Thursday when they take on Rockcastle County in Richmond.