The Poynette Indians baseball team lost its grip on first place in the Home Talent Eastern Section after coming up short against the host Cottage Grove Firemen last Friday.
The Indians were unable to hold to an early lead and fell 11-7 to the Firemen during the Cottage Grove Firemen’s Festival.
“We hit the ball very well, but we weren’t at our best defensively,” Poynette player-manager Davy Tomlinson said.
The Indians (8-5) fell to 5-2 in the Eastern Section. They are in second place behind Sun Prairie (7-1).
Poynette struck first in the Eastern Section showdown with two runs in the top of the first inning. Both runs scored with two outs.
The Indians got an RBI double from Kory Ryan and run-scoring single from Aaron Krigbaum in the opening frame.
Cottage Grove cut the lead in the half with a run in the bottom of the second inning.
The Firemen took the lead with a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. They exploded for five more runs in the sixth stanza.
Cottage Grove plated a run in the bottom of the seventh to increase the lead to 11-2.
The Indians refused to go away quietly. They mounted a rally in the eighth and ninth innings.
Poynette pushed two runs across the plate in the top of the eighth.
After a walk by Ryan Hutchinson and back-to-back singles by Dylan Tomlinson and Jalen Knuteson loaded the bases in the top of the eighth, the Indians’ Anthony Mabrey drew a walk to plate the first run. Kyle Bestul followed with a run-scoring single.
Poynette scored three more runs in the top of the ninth, but were unable to make up the deficit.
Dylan Tomlinson opened the scoring in the ninth with a triple to plate Alex O’Connor and Hutchinson. O’Connor led off the inning with a single, while Hutchinson reached on an error.
Tomlinson then came home on a base hit by Mabrey.
“I was happy with how the guys kept battling, and mounted a comeback even after being down 11-2,” Davy Tomlinson said.
Poynette had its chances in the game, but stranded 15 base runners. The Indians out-hit the Firemen 17-14, but was hurt by three errors, all of which came during Cottage Grove’s five-run sixth inning..
Dylan Tomlinson was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate, while Knuteson had three hits. Ryan and Steve Leiterman both finished with two hits.
Mabrey pitched the first six innings for Poynette and had four strikeouts and five walks.
“Anthony threw very well, and was keeping some excellent hitters at bay,” Davy Tomlinson said. “Unfortunately for us, they had that big sixth inning.”
O’Connor and Knuteson each pitched one inning of relief and had two strikeouts apiece.
The Indians were scheduled to play at Sun Prairie in Night League play on June 13, but the game was postponed. No make-up date has been set.
Poynette has a bye in Eastern Section play this Sunday, but will play a Night League game in Rio at 7:30 p.m. tonight.