WINTERSET — On June 25, the Creston baseball team was on a high note, standing 12-10 after sweeping conference rival Atlantic.
But, a tailspin since then reached seven games Friday in a 10-6 loss to an 8-20 Winterset team. Creston had 12 hits, but could not overcome six fielding errors in falling to 12-17 for the season.
“We were swinging it pretty good, with 12 hits, including five doubles,” said assistant coach Kyle Wilson, managing the team Friday as head coach Steve Birchard was attending his mother’s funeral services in Council Bluffs. “I was proud of the way the guys battled for four innings, but you can’t make up for six errors.”
Despite the adversity, Creston trailed just 8-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
“The later innings were frustrating,” Wilson said. “It was a two-run game and we showed that we could hit, so we thought that we could score two runs in the top of the seventh if we just hold them. Then we had back-to-back errors in the sixth that would have gotten us out of the inning. So, now they’re up by four.”
Starting pitcher Keaton Hulett deserved a better fate, allowing only five hits. But the Huskies already had eight runs when he was relieved by Cole Crawford in the fourth.
Crawford had no earned runs allowed and no walks with two hits and three strikeouts in an effective 2 2/3 innings of work.
There were plenty of offensive highlights for the Panthers. Trevor Luther was 3-for-4 with a double, and Briar Evans and Zach Powers each had a double and single. Crawford and Evans drove in a pair of runs each.
The final week of the regular season isn’t easy for the Panthers, either. A 26-9 ADM team, coming off a 9-6 win over Lewis Central, hosts Creston tonight in Adel. A return trip to seventh-ranked Chariton is the final tune-up Tuesday before a home game Friday to open district play against 14-15 Greene County (Jefferson).
Chariton (30-4) defeated the Panthers last week in Creston, 13-3.
Winterset won the JV game, 8-5, collecting eight hits while making no errors.Creston had seven hits and three errors.
Conner Pals was 2-for-3 with a triple and RBI for Creston, now 10-9. Brenden McDowell added a double and RBI. Nate Haley also drove in a run.
Colton Bolinger pitched the first 1 1/3 innings for the Panthers, relieved by Trevor Luther in the second and Brody Frain in the fourth.
“We fell behind early 3-0,” Wilson said. “We just didn’t play well enough to win.”
Winterset 10, Creston 6
R H E
Creston 121 200 0 — 6 12 6
Winterset 230 302 x — 10 7 1
Cr: Keaton Hulett 1K 3BB, Cole Crawford (4) 3K 0BB and Zach Powers. W: Zak Goodwin 0K 0BB, Andy Lambert (3) 4K 3BB and Alex Forgy. W — Goodwin. L— Hulett. 2B — Cr: Powers, Briar Evans, Hulett, Trevor Luther; W: Tanner Porter, Goodwin, Andy Lambert. RBI — Cr: Crawford 2, Evans 2, Nate Haley 1; W: Lambert 2, Porter 1, Allen Shahan 1, Goodwin 1, Nick Nelson 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: Luther 3, Evans 2, Powers 2; W: Porter 2.