GREENWOOD — The Center Grove Trojans defeated the Ben Davis Giants in both games of Saturday’s baseball doubleheader. The Giants (1-7) fell to the Trojans (8-1) 12-8 in the second game, adding to an already rough start to the season.
After trailing by five early in Game 2, the Giants fought their way back from a 10-point deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning as they loaded the bases with two outs and the tying run on deck. But it was a classic case of too little, too late as the Trojans held off the Giants’ rally in a game where the score truly didn’t depict the flow of the game, giving Ben Davis coach Aaron Kroll little to complain about.
“You just can’t get behind 5-0,” he said. “It’s hard to play baseball when you get down that many runs. I feel that we are getting better. Our kids didn’t quit and we had the tying run on deck in the seventh after being down by quite a few runs. We made it interesting late and I’m actually pretty encouraged. We want to be playing our best baseball come May and we’re really starting to figure things out.”
One of the many things the Giants are deciphering is pitching.
C.J. Vaughn started on the mound in the second contest, recording three strike outs. Despite walking four batters, the sophomore showed promise, allowing zero hits during his one and one-third innings on the mound.
“C.J. is the guy that could really be a difference maker for us,” Kroll said. “Nobody has hit off of him yet, but he just hasn’t been able to find the strike zone. We’re hopeful that he’ll be able to figure that out but until he does we just can’t keep walking guys.”
Another thing hurting the Giants was leaving runners on base. After falling behind 5-0 in the bottom of the second inning with the bases loaded and only one out with an opportunity to get back into the game, it was an issue that plagued the Giants.
“We’re stranding too many runners,” Kroll said. “We stranded nine in the first game and we stranded four through the first two innings of the second game. We’re not getting big hits when we need to and in the first game we weren’t getting plays defensively either and that doesn’t help.”
The Giants lost the first contest 9-3, but it was evident in the second game rally as much as it’s evident in Kroll’s optimism that the results and record are the last thing the Giants should be concerned with or defined by.
“To be concerned about our record right now is not beneficial,” he said. “Obviously, nobody wants to be 1-7 but the teams we’ve lost to have been four pretty good teams. I’m not trying to make excuses because, obviously, we need to get better. I’m pretty optimistic after today, so we’ll see.”