The Creston baseball team struggled against a tough Council Bluffs St. Albert team here Saturday in a 15-4 six-inning loss.
The Class 2A 10th-rated Falcons put up a seven-spot in the top of the first inning, as Creston starting pitcher Nate Haley recorded only two outs in the inning before being pulled in favor of Cole Crawford.
St. Albert finished the inning with six hits, while also taking advantage of one walk and a hit batter.
Falcon starting pitcher Wyatt Lewis hit a two-run double in the inning and nine-hitter Hooch Johnson drove in two runs with a triple.
“It just takes so much out of you,” Creston head coach Steve Birchard said about falling behind by seven runs in the first inning. “You can’t run, you just have to sit back and let things happen, and hope that good things happen.”
Creston showed signs of life in the bottom of the second inning, getting two runs back when Haley led off with a single and later scored when Jon Birchard drew a bases-loaded walk. Brandon Phipps crossed for the second run of the inning when Crawford walked with the bases loaded.
“We got a little bit there in the second, and I thought maybe we can chip away at it and get a couple more, but it just wasn’t happening tonight,” Birchard said. “The kid was good enough to keep working and throwing strikes. He figured out he better throw some strikes.”
The Falcons added six more in the top of the fourth inning, chasing Crawford from the game at the conclusion of the inning.
The Panthers came up in the bottom of the fifth needing to score two runs to extend the game, and they did just that as Briar Evans hit an RBI double and Trevor Luther drove Evans in with a single.
Kadon Hulett pitched two effective innings of relief for the Panthers in the fifth and the sixth, but errors allowed the Falcons to push the lead past 10 again, ending the game after six.
“Kadon continues to do a good job,” Birchard said. “Who knows? Maybe he’s a guy who can move into giving us more innings, more than just a couple. He throws strikes. Kadon’s doing a nice job, becoming dependable. Doesn’t get ruffled.”
The Panthers, now 11-12, return to action tonight at Glenwood before hosting Red Oak in the Hawkeye 10 Conference finale Tuesday, and then hosting Treynor on Wednesday.
“The way I’m looking at it, if we win two (conference games), we’re going to have a pretty darn good shot at being fourth in the conference,” Birchard said. “We can sort of be the best of the rest, which is kind of what we’re shooting for, as well as to improve.”
The Creston JV team also struggled against Council Bluffs St. Albert here on Saturday, falling 8-0.
The Panthers mustered only one hit against the Falcons, a bloop single from Kadon Hulett.
Colton Bolinger and Jon Birchard split the pitching duties for Creston.
“We really struggled at the plate,” Creston JV Coach Kyle Wilson said. “We either struck out or hit weak ground balls. Hopefully, we can get back on track at the plate this coming week.”
The Creston JV team falls to 7-6 for the season.
Council Bluffs St. Albert 15, Creston 4
R H E
CBSA 700 602 — 15 12 0
Creston 020 020 — 4 3 6
Wyatt Lewis 4K 6BB, Brent Burke (5) and Jake Lewis. Nate Haley 1K 1BB, Cole Crawford (1) 2K 4BB, Kadon Hulett (5) 3K 3BB and Zach Powers. W — Lewis. L— Haley. HR — none. 3B — CBSA: Hooch Johnson 1. 2B — CBSA: Wyatt Lewis 1, Jake Petry 1. Cr: Briar Evans 1. RBI — CBSA: Wyatt Lewis 2, Johnson 2, Alex Rindone 1, Petry 1, Jake Lewis 1, Nick Gantt 1, Josh Hecker 1, Logan Lieber 1. Cr: Evans 1, Trevor Luther 1. Multiple hitters — CBSA: Rindone 2, Jake Lewis 2, Wyatt Lewis 2, Hecker 2.