After storming out to a 5-0 record, the Chargers took their first loss of the season on Friday night to Volunteer State 9-4. Hot hitting earned the Chargers a win in the nightcap, but despite plating 9 runs in game three, GHC was undone by defensive miscues and lost game three 11-9.
Starting pitching was strong in the series for the Chargers. Ethan Underwood, Johnny Dow, and Conner Perry each had solid outings, keeping Highlands in the ballgame into the late innings. Ultimately, it would be two big innings that would cost the Chargers the series. The first of those innings came in game one after the Chargers took a 3-0 lead in the 5th inning. A misplay by the Chargers and a Vol State sacrifice led to a pair of runs on texas leaguer that landed just out of the reach of GHC leftfielder Mickey Maguire. Dalton Bradford came on to relieve Ethan Underwood, who struck out 9 and allowed just 4 hits in 5.2 innings o work, but was unable to shut down the Pioneer rally. When the dust cleared, Vol State had scored 7 runs in the frame and the damage was done. The second such inning came in the 8th inning of game three when when a combination of errors and mental mistakes led to 4 unearned runs. Even a 5 run rally in the bottom of the ninth would not be enough to push the Chargers back on top.
Several Chargers had good weekends despite dropping the series. Lavoisier Fisher went 5-8 at the plate with 4 walks, 3 runs scored, and a pair of stolen bases. Trace Twardoski was 5-11 with 3 doubles and David Smith, Gavin Harmon, Palmer Sapp, and Joe Sutton each added to their home run tallies for the year. Johnny Dow and Stevie Szucs were dominant over 7 innings in the game two victory, striking out 9 batters while allowing just 7 baserunners.
Highlands is now 6-2 on the year and will take the field on Tuesday night against visiting Bryan College for a 3PM doubleheader.