Playing state-ranked Crystal City Wednesday, Charleston saw costly mistakes in the field fuel a pair of big rallies by the Hornets en rout to an 11-1 loss.
"If you give up one unearned run through six innings you ought to be in the ball game and have a chance to win," Bluejays' coach Michael Minner said. "Unfortunately we can't catch the baseball and we don't give ourselves that chance."
Down 1-0 in the fourth inning, Charleston saw a booted ball at short, allowing what was the eventual, game-winning runner reach. It started a four-run Crystal City rally.
Crystal City was able to put up five hits during the rally, including four-straight singles at one point, as they batted around the order to take a 5-0 advantage.
Adding another two runs the following inning, Nick Rothweiler and Devon Tolan reached with one out before coming home on a single to shallow right and a dropped fly ball in left, respectively.
Wrapping up their scoring, four-straight Hornets reached in the top of the seventh, their No. 7, 8, 9 and 1 hitters, before crossing the plate to make it 11-0.
It was in the their final at-bat that Charleston was able to shake off the shutout. Starting with a double from their clean up hitter, Ethan Browning, the Bluejays strung together three-straight hits to open the inning. Moving over from second to third on a single by Danny McKinney, Browning broke up the shutout when he crossed the plate on a Michael Baugh drive down the left field line.
Unfortunately for Charleston, a ground out and strikeout left the Bluejays with two outs before they could push any more runs across. In the next at-bat, Charleston's No. 9 hitter grounded out to the second baseman to end the game.
"Crystal City's a great ball club," said Minner. "They're defending state champs and are ranked second in the state for a reason."
Going all seven innings, Gary Doyle picked up the win. Doyle allowed five hits and no walks while striking out eight.
"He's working on his secondary breaking ball and I think he did a good job with it," Hornets' coach Matt Holdinghausen said of Doyle. "He gets a couple more strikeouts and it puts a little less pressure on our defense which helps them out a lot."
With 12 hits, Crystal City was led by Nick Pruneau, Tolan and Tyler MacClanahan who contributed two apiece. Tolan and MacClanahan each had a double.
For Charleston, who had five hits on the contest, Browning was was 2 for 3 with a double. James Naile had the team's only other double.
Despite his team's recent struggles, Minner is confident they have the ability to turn things around.
"The ability to win baseball games is here on the field," he said. "The talent is here. We can swing the bats and we can pitch it with the best of them. I still feel like we can play defense, we just haven't shown it."
The Bluejays now stand at 7-8 while Crystal City improves to 14-5. Charleston will look to get back to the .500 mark on the season when they host Oran today at 3 p.m.
Crystal City 100 410 4 - 11
Charleston 000 000 1 - 1
WP -- Gary Doyle. LP -- Marshall Stallings. 2B -- (CC) Nick Rothweiler, Devon Tolan, Tyler MacClanahan; (CH) James Naile, Ethan Browning.