The MUS Owls rallied late in the seventh inning but came up just short in a 4-3 loss at ECS on Monday evening.
The Owls left 13 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth innings.
"We left way too many men on base," Head Coach John Jarnagin said after the loss. "But credit ECS. Their pitcher threw 109 pitches in five innings. He played a great game."
The Owls fell behind 1-0 after the first inning, and that score held steady until the fourth inning when ECS tacked on two more runs, making it 3-0.
The Owls finally broke through in the fifth when junior Thomas Pickens scored after fellow junior Will Buser drew a bases loaded walk.
Buser also pitched four innings, striking out three and giving up three runs.
In the bottom half of the fifth, senior Cole Adams took over the pitching duties from Buser. Adams gave up one run in two innings pitched, but the senior impressed his coach.
"Cole Adams was great," Jarnagin said. "He kept us close."
In the sixth, sophomore Evan Smith, freshman Jaylen Wilbon (who reached base four times in five plate appearances), and senior Connor Stewart all drew walks to load the bases. But all three would be left stranded when AJ Hunt (who Jarnagin said is batting near .500 this season) hit a ball perfectly up the middle that ended up taking an unfortunate bounce off second base right into the shortstop's glove for an easy inning-ending out.
Adams pitched a near flawless bottom of the sixth, allowing just one hit and taking a manageable three-run deficit into the top half of the seventh.
Senior Preston White lead off the top of the seventh with a single. That was followed up with Buser drawing a walk. Then sophomore Steven Regis singled to load the bases.
Smith stepped up to the plate with the bases load and cranked an RBI single into shallow left field, plating White and cutting the ECS lead to 4-2.
Senior Carter McFerrin blasted a deep shot into left field that just did find the outfielder's glove, allowing Buser to score on the sacrifice.
The Owls were unable to take advantaged later in the seventh - stranding both Regis and Smith in scoring position. However, despite the loss, Jarnagin saw some things he like from his team.
"Usually when you play like we played, you win," Jarnagin said. "We drew nine walks. The guys did exactly what I asked them to. I'm proud of the way we played. We've just got to keep competing, and hopefully we'll get them next time."
Luckily for Jarnagin and his team, they get a shot at redemption on Thursday as they will take on ECS at home beginning at 7 p.m.