Losses inspire team cooperation on baseball diamond

The previously unbeaten Boulder City 16-under baseball team was tested with five games in five days. It turned out to be a learning experience as they finally found themselves on the short end of the scoring and lost for the first time this summer in the Connie Mack League.

The Eagles were 3-2 for the week and are now 15-2-1 overall under coach Ron Hubel. They will play another five games this week before starting the playoffs Tuesday. The final game in the summer season begins at 10 a.m. today at Whalen Baseball Field.

Boulder City began its five-game series with a 13-6 victory against at Shadow Ridge to improve to 13-0-1.

Jake Hubel led the offense with three hits and Austin Shepard, Will Knudsen and Patrick Garvin each had two hits. Knudsen and Hubel each had two RBIs. Austin Wishard, Steve Wagner, Nolan DeSantis, Nick Giunta and Mike Morelli each added timely hits as the Eagles pulled away using 14 hits.

“As a team we played well offensively,” Ron Hubel said. “The coaches are very pleased with our offense this season, and we have come to rely on any one of our guys at any time to come through with a clutch hit and/or a meaningful at-bat.”

Peyton Koopman pitched four innings to earn the win.

But one day later, the winning streak was over, at home, as the Eagles lost 6-4 to Palo Verde.

Shepard was the starting pitcher and responded with five good innings, but for the first time this summer the Eagles’ bats could not produce enough runs in support.

“Shep got the nod to start the game, and he answered the call, but we couldn’t help him offensively,” coach Hubel said. “This was our first offensive letdown this summer.”

Wagner pitched the final two innings in relief and held off Palo Verde, but the Eagles could not rally. Koopman and Wagner had two hits each, with Wagner getting two RBIs. Morelli had one RBI.

“This was a different kind of game than we had been used to all summer. We trailed early and just didn’t rally,” Hubel said. “A loss isn’t always the worst thing that can happen to a team. I think it brought us closer together and helped the kids understand that one player does not win or lose a game. Instead, it is a collective effort.

“It also allowed us the opportunity to teach the kids that winning only brings out one part of their character, whereas losing brings out all their character. It was a hard loss to swallow, but we learned from it.”

The Eagles bounced back from their first loss to win easily June 26 against Spring Valley, 20-1. They had 18 hits and backed Wishard in his pitching debut. He threw two innings.

DeSantis, Morelli, Wishard and Wagner each had three hits. Aaron Kehoe had two hits. Morelli and Kehoe each had four RBIs and Patrick Garvin had three. Garvin and Kehoe each had their first home run.

The team struggled Friday in its road trip to St. George, Utah, where it lost 8-2. Giunta pitched the entire game, but got the fewest runs scored (two) and fewest hits (two) this summer by the team.

The Eagles have not lost back-to-back this summer, as they bounced back from their loss to defeat Desert Hills 9-5 Saturday.

Jake Hubel improved his record to 4-0 as he threw four solid innings. DeSantis pitched the fifth inning and Shepard closed out the sixth inning before the game was called because of the time limit.

Knudsen, the Eagles’ designated hitter, had two hits and four RBIs. In the fifth inning, Knudsen had a two-out, bases-loaded double that cleared the bases and knocked in three RBIs. Shepard, Morelli, Wagner, Seth Kermode and Kodey Rahr had key hits.

“Our offense won this game,” Ron Hubel said.

“The coaches are looking forward to our final week with five more games to get us ready for the playoffs.”

The 14-under team’s final home games of the season, also to be played at Whalen Field, are scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, and 7 p.m. July 10 and 11.

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