MONTROSE, Colo. -- A day after falling into the loser's bracket of the Midwest Plains Regional Tournament, the Charleston Fighting Squirrels saw their season come to a close on Friday with a 7-4 loss to Eastview, Minn.
"We didn't play well today," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "It was one of our worst defensive games of the year. We gave up six unearned runs and that's not how we wanted to finish the year."
After opening the tournament with a 13-10 win over Junction City, Kan., on Wednesday, the Squirrels were put behind the eight ball when an 8-6 loss to host Montrose, Colo., on Thursday moved them into the loser's bracket.
Forced to take the field Friday morning against Eastview just 12 hours after their previous game ended, Minner credit the quick turnaround as being a factor in the loss.
"It was a number of things, but we played the late game last night and we probably weren't ready to play this morning," Minner said. "We gave four runs in the first inning and couldn't catch up."
The Squirrels' results in this year's regional mirror last year's when they served as host. That season they opened the tournament off with a win over Coffeyville, Kan., before dropping two straight to Ottumwa, Iowa and Minnetonka, Minn., ended their season.
The Squirrels finish the year with a 29-25 record after having nabbed their second-straight state title and fifth overall.
"It doesn't take anything away from what we've accomplished this year," said of the loss. "We had a good season and can't define it by one game. We didn't finish how we wanted to, but we'll be back next year.
"We have eight or nine guys that will come back for us and we'll go looking for some more. We've had a lot of good seasons and it's a special place to play in Charleston. This was a great summer"