Silver Hawks deny Discoverers’ upset bid
Columbus High baseball matched No. 2 Lincoln Southwest with six hits, starting pitcher Tyler Palmer struck out five while walking just two, but the Discoverers left nine men on base, committed two crucial errors and came up short in a 3-1 final on Monday in Lincoln.
The Silver Hawks scored single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings and had a three-run cushion before the Discoverers finally crossed the plate on an RBI from Brent Beard in the sixth.
Columbus left two runners on in the first, fifth and sixth and one each in the second, fourth and seventh while dropping to 3-5 on the season. Discoverer errors led to Silver Hawk runs in the fourth and fifth.
Though it was just a two-run game against an 8-1 program, Columbus coach Jimmy Johnson said his team took no solace in coming close.
“We definitely don’t look at it as a moral victory because we’ve played close games with some of the top teams in the state and come up short,” he said. “At this point, we need to see ourselves win that type of game. I think it will really do a lot for our confidence.”
Palmer made his third start of the season following a win at Bellevue West on March 22 and another road game at Omaha Westside on April 1. He’s now gone 16 and 2/3 innings with only five earned runs allowed, 17 strikeouts and four walks.
But like his other starts in which the offense handed him a combined total of five runs in two games, he received just one Monday.
His only earned run came in the second after a leadoff single came around to score on a bunt and a one-out double. Southwest made it 2-0 in the fourth following a one-out walk then an error and a single.
It was 3-0 after five behind a leadoff double, walk and error.
Landon Thompson started a late Columbus rally in the sixth, doubling to right field. After Caden Pelan reached on an infield single to the pitcher, Beard reached on an infield single to the shortstop scoring Thompson.
But with two on and none out, Columbus followed it with a ground out, strikeout and line out.
The Discoverers had CJ Fleeman on with one out in the seventh following a hit-by-pitch but he was left stranded on an infield fly and a strikeout.
“This is a tough one to take,” Johnson said. “We made two or three errors, and we know we need to clean that up and handle the ball better. You’ve got to expect to be perfect in these type of games if you want to win these type of games.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegam. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.