Playing twice at the home of the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, Ill., Saturday, the Borgia baseball Knights dropped a pair of games to Lutheran South and Kirkwood.
Borgia (12-6) opened the afternoon with a 3-2 loss to Lutheran South in eight innings.
And in the second game, the Knights fell to Kirkwood, 3-1.
“Playing down at GCS Ballpark was a great experience for us,” Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff said. “What a beautiful facility, too bad we forgot to bring our bats. We didn’t do much offensively in either game. We also had a handful of mental errors which cost of both games. Physical errors will happen, but our heads weren’t in it. I don’t know if it was the scenery or what, but we just didn’t have it. We’ll make adjustments and be ready the next time we play.”
In the opener, Borgia scored in the top of the second inning but the Lancers tied it in the bottom of the third.
Lutheran South scored again in the bottom of the fifth but the Knights tied it in the top of the seventh.
“We battled to tie it in the top of the seventh, though,” Struckhoff said. “Spencer Juergens had a big RBI hit to bring in the tying run. However, our pinch runner got picked off first with the go-ahead run at third with one out. A ground out ended the rally and our momentum was lost.”
Lutheran South scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
Borgia had eight hits in the game to seven for the Lancers. The Knights committed four errors to one for Lutheran South.
Tony Helfrich went seven innings for Borgia, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk. He struck out six.
“Tony Helfrich had an outstanding day,” Struckhoff said. “He pitched great in the first game against a very good Lutheran South team giving up only one earned run. However, we fell apart defensively behind him committing four errors. We also couldn’t score any runs to back him.”
Tyler Murray took the loss, giving up one run on two walks while going 0.1 of an inning in the eighth.
Offensively, Nathaniel Hillermann led the way with three hits. He drove in one run.
Jacob Haskins added two hits and a run.
Grant Eckelkamp and Helfrich doubled. Spencer Juergens hit a single.
Helfrich also scored a run while Juergens had Borgia’s other RBI.
Justin Horace drew a walk.
For Lutheran South, Danny Strohm went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out three.
Dalton Schumer got the win with a scoreless eighth.
Trevor Jost and Trey Martin each had two hits in the game. The Lancers had no extra-base hits.
Borgia turned around and played Kirkwood in a 3-1 loss.
All runs were scored in the second inning with Kirkwood hitting first for three aces. Borgia tallied one in the bottom of the inning.
“In the second game against Kirkwood, neither team could really get anything going,” Struckhoff said. “Kirkwood took advantage of the only thing we gave them. With two outs in the third, three consecutive walks followed by a double on an 0-2 count scored all their runs. After that, they didn’t do anything against us. Except for that four batter stretch, Nate Hillermann pitched a great game.”
Kirkwood outhit Borgia, 6-5. The Pioneers made two errors to one for the Knights.
Hillermann pitched for the Knights, allowing three runs on four hits and four walks. He struck out four.
Helfrich led the offense by going 3-3 in the game with a double and a triple. He scored once run.
Haskins had Borgia’s other two hits, both singles. He drove in the Borgia run.
Hillermann and Spencer Juergens walked.
Sam Acker went the distance for the Pioneers and earned the win.
Adam Kohl led Kirkwood with two hits. He had the bases-loaded double in the second inning.
Deion Corley, Ian Huffman and Jake Schmiedekamp scored the Kirkwood runs.