LOUISVILLE - Some things don’t show up in the box score but they can mean the difference between a win and a loss.
In the opener of the Sixth Region baseball tournament, it was a play here or a play there that led to a 7-3 loss for North Bullitt against the DeSales Colts on Monday.
For a second consecutive year, the Eagles fell short against DeSales in the tourney opener.
On Monday, starting at 9 a.m. to avoid the afternoon heat that caused the delay in at least one game later in the day, North Bullitt couldn’t get the big play.
With Cody Stinnett on the mound, DeSales, coached by former Bullitt Central standout John Hodges, got started with a three spot in the first inning.
Ryan Selent led off with a single and Hunter Tipton was hit with a one-out pitch.
Selent went on a wild pitch and Tipton advanced to second. Pitcher Pat Remines helped his own cause with a single to left to score the first run.
Then, Blake Dewsnap hit a 0-2 pitch to the fence for a two-run triple and the 3-0 lead.
From head coach Brian Wise’s standpoint, one run should have been the only tally. A missed cutoff throw allowed a baserunner to advance to scoring position and an 0-2 pitch should not be in a place where a hitter can make contact.
“We practice that with the pitchers,” said Wise. “It was just a changeup that stayed up.”
The Eagles got a run back in the second inning as Jesse King and Tyler Mayberry hit doubles.
The Colts got back into the scoring saddle in the second. Dan Breedlove hit a one-out single and Selent followed with another single. Ryan Ritchey drilled a 2 RBI double to the right-center field gap for the 5-1 lead.
North Bullitt had its only big inning in the third but it could have been much bigger.
Jordan Burden led off with a single but was doubled off first base on Anthony Kennedy’s liner.
Clayton Kelly followed with his second single of the game and Tyler Lloyd followed with another single to put runners on the corner.
King drove home Kelly with a single.
Stinnett then drove a ball down the left-field line to score Lloyd and King. However, the home plate umpire ruled that the runner missed home plate.
“I couldn’t argue it because I really wasn’t watching the plate,” said Wise, who still entered into a discussion with the home plate umpire.
The explanation was that the runner simply didn’t touch the plate.
For Wise, this would be the second time in three years that an Eagle runner would be called out for missing a base.
“I’m so proud of the way the guys came back in that inning,” said Wise, after they fell behind 5-1. “It’s just one of those bizarre plays that you don’t see very often. But it was certainly important.”
That would be the final hit for the Eagles as Remines would retire the next 12 batters for the 7-3 victory.
“Credit Remines for coming back,” Wise said of the Colt starter.
Three Eagle seniors - Ben Evans, King and Burden - would end their careers with a winning 20-19 season.
As the Eagles were in the midst of a 1-11 streak in the middle of the season, Wise credited the team with coming back to finish strong.
“We could have given up but we didn’t,” said Wise. “Today was just frustrating. Very frustrating.”
Coming into the game, Wise said he felt the Eagles could play with DeSales.
“We want to take the next step,” Wise said of winning a regional game after a pair of first-round losses. “We challenged the guys coming back to do what it takes in the off-season to take that next step.”