By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
It’s beginning to become a recurring nightmare for Southern coach Dusty Hon and the Eagles.
Southern plays very well for the first four or five innings and is right in games against some very good teams.
But then mental mistakes and fielding errors lead to multiple runs and the Eagles dig themselves a hole they can’t come back from.
It happened once again Tuesday in a 8-2 loss to South Laurel.
The Eagles played very well early, scoring two runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals. South bounced right back in the third to reclaim the lead 3-2, but the Eagles were still very much in the game.
But then in the sixth inning, still trailing 3-2, three misplayed fly balls in the outfield, a balk and a passed ball allowed the Cardinals to score three runs to take a commanding 6-2 lead.
The pattern has left Hon frustrated because he sees glimpses of how good his team can be if it can cut down on the mistakes.
“We had five fly balls that should have been caught. We hit fly balls for two and a half hours yesterday and I thought that would be the last problem we had today,” Hon said. “We’re losing focus in the middle of games and I’m frustrated. I see these guys every day in practice and I know there is potential there. They will do it right 10 times in practice and then go out there and I don’t know what happens. Those little bitty things are pulverizing us.”
The Cardinals added two more runs in the seventh, again aided by a misplayed fly ball and a wild pitch.
Southern starter Lucas Reynolds went the distance, allowing eight hits while striking out six batters. He walked three batters, but picked two runners off base.
The Eagles were productive at the plate, with six players having at least one hit.
Reynolds and Griffen Norris led the way with two singles each, while Kendan Angel had a single and RBI. John David Meeks and Reynolds also added a single each.
Despite Tuesday’s setback, Hon said he is seeing some improvement in his team from the beginning of the year and he thinks things will eventually turn around.
“We have moments but it seems like we’re snakebit sometimes really. We’ve improved by leaps and bounds since the beginning of they year. But we’ve still got a long way to go,” Hon said. “But I’m not giving up. We’ll keep fighting and we’ll make the best out of this.”
The Eagles are back in action today when they travel to Danville to take on the Admirals.