By Scott Schlaufman
There are times in baseball where an error plays little role in the outcome of a game.
But for the Valley City Babe Ruth team, that wasn’t the case in a 5-4 loss in the first game of a double header sweep to LaMoure Thursday at Charlie Brown Memorial Field. Valley City also lost 3-1 in a three inning second game.
In the first, though, a seemingly innocuous error in the seventh inning allowed a runner to reach base after a throw pulled first baseman Jordan Magnuson off the bag. It haunted Valley City three batters later when LaMoure’s Anthony Olson hit a two-out triple to deep left field that drove in the game’s deciding run.
“That comes to show you, you may think ‘well, it’s just an error,’ but in those situations, those errors get magnified,” coach Lance Lukes said. “If you make that out, that kid (Olson) doesn’t get to the plate for that chance. You’d get the three outs before that.”
It put Valley City, which split a double header with LaMoure earlier this year, into a position to hopefully come from behind late.
Though the team had two quick outs from Josh Tulp and Dalton Ondracek, Jake Miller walked to keep the game alive. Nate Rodriguez made solid contact on an outfield ball, though it was caught by the center fielder.
Otherwise, Valley City had little problem playing from behind.
LaMoure got its offense going early in the game. Marcus Good led the game off with a double and the team had three hits in its first four at bats to score Good and Olson and take a 2-0 lead after one.
Valley City got the runs back in the bottom of the second when Jesse Johnson and Magnuson reached on consecutive hits. Collin Schroeder then had a single to short center to drive both of them in.
Similarly, LaMoure went up 3-2 after the top of the third, but Miller scored in the bottom to tie it. LaMoure went up again in the top of the fourth, but a single by Schroeder scored Magnuson to tie it in the bottom half.
“We kept with them but we never got good lead or real big inning,” Magnuson said.
There were also times where Valley City simply was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the fourth inning, with no outs and runners on first and third, Tulp hit a line drive along the third base foul line.
The third baseman snagged it and immediately touched the base to double up Casey Englehard.
Though pitcher Jesse Johnson struggled early, allowing half his hits in the first inning, he later settled down.
He eventually finished the game ten strikeouts and only three walks.
Game two was limited to three innings.
Valley City took a 1-0 lead early in the first inning when Ondracek reached on a single, then scored after three passed balls to Englehard. LaMoure scored three runs in the second inning.
Valley City finishes the regular season at home Monday against Fargo.