Amidst the numerous high scoring losses the Valley City High School baseball team has faced this season, the attitude at Charlie Brown Memorial Field can be a little off at times.
But early in the second game of a sweep to Fargo South, things perked up momentarily.
“The kids were excited,” coach Trevar Hansen said. “They played harder and more excited. I thought it was way different.”
It didn’t last long, as the Hi-Liners lost 23-1 to the Bruins, but the feeling was there.
Valley City trailed 2-0 after the top of the first inning and got a leadoff double from Spencer Meyer. Austen Meyer followed it with a single, and later used base running tactics to help Spencer score.
After a scoreless top of the second, the Hi-Liners were still in it, carrying an extra pep in their step and showing a little more smile.
It was short lived, however, as the defense and pitching crumbled and the Hi-Liner offense only had one more runner reach base the rest of the game.
In the final three innings of the five inning game, the Hi-Liners allowed 21 runs.
It was the result of essentially a snowball effect.
Starting pitcher Josh Magnuson gave up a walk. The runner then moved to second on a balk.
The next hitter reached on an error by first baseman Troy Anderson.
After a few more hits, walks, wild pitches and a pitching change, the Hi-Liners had let in nine runs without getting an out.
The first out came on the inning’s 12th batter and was followed by two more quick outs.
The troubles continued in the fourth inning, which lasted 11 batters and had seven runs score, and the fifth inning, in which Fargo South had a two-out rally, complete with three triples, to score five runs.
“It just got worse and worse,” Hansen said.
The Hi-Liners lost the first game 13-0 and had no hits.
Though Hi-Liner pitcher Andrew Glaser allowed 11 hits, he was hurt in the field by seven errors.
Valley City kept Fargo South from having a large scoring inning, instead limiting the Bruins to two or three runs each inning.
Hansen said he was pleased with the pitching Tuesday, especially since Glaser kept from walking a batter, though he hit two with pitches.
“It’s all just positive things there,” he said. “We’re throwing strikes, we’re making them swing the bat.”
The Hi-Liners don’t play again until Tuesday against Devils Lake and Hansen hopes the team can iron out some of its fundamental issues before then.
“Hopefully now that we have four days of practice in a row and no game, we can work on some small things, lots of small things,” he said.