HAMLER — A young roster facing off against a state tournament-hardened team proved to be a tough mixture for the Patrick Henry ACME baseball team Wednesday at Garrold Parratt Field, falling 14-1 in five innings to Antwerp.
The Patriots managed two hits, going 1 for 9 with six strikeouts with runners on base in the loss.
“We had a lot of seniors on our high school team that obviously produced a lot for us,” Patrick Henry coach Ray Greene said. “Right now it’s about getting our younger guys on in the field in different positions so we can get as many looks as possible.”
Part of that experimentation included starting Kolton Holloway, the Patriots’ starting catcher in 2019, at shortstop and Wil Morrow, who hasn’t played baseball since eighth grade, according to Greene, at third base.
Holloway responded by making a pair of athletic plays, one a ranging grab on a tricky pop-fly and the other a tough throw moving to his right.
Morrow was faced with several sharply-hit balls early in the game, and while he didn’t record an out on any of them, he knocked them down and prevented likely extra-base hits on three separate occasions.
“I thought Wil did a great job on those balls,” Greene said. “Obviously, you’d like to see him pull them in and get the outs, but that’ll come. He’s a good athlete, and for him to look the way he did at third today after having not played in so long is really impressive.”
Greene also had praise for Holloway’s early acrobatics in the six-hole.
“I wish I could have Kolton playing a few other positions at the same time for us,” Greene said. “He’s such a great athlete. He switches all over the field without a problem. Those plays he made at short, especially the throw in the hole, were all really good.”
Antwerp took the lead with one run in the top of the first inning before plating two in the second to take a 3-0 edge. The Archers broke the game open with five in the third and six in the fourth to take a 14-0 advantage.
The Patriots scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the first, as Hunter Diem worked a lead-off walk, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a double to right-center from Mason Schwiebert.
Schwiebert and Caleb Rosengarten recorded the only hits of the game for Patrick Henry.
Rosengarten got the start on the mound, allowing eight runs, six earned, on seven hits and three walks. Diem pitched one inning in relief, while Holloway tossed a scoreless fifth.
After the game, Greene talked about the value of a young team facing off against a team that played in Akron at the state tournament just weeks ago.
“Any time you get to play against a great program like Antwerp, you hope it rubs off in the right way on your guys,” Greene said. “Antwerp is really, really good and they have some guys that are really young. They’re doing the kind of thing we would love to be doing, and I hope that the guys saw how they handled themselves and played.”
Patrick Henry (0-1) hosts Miller City today at 6 p.m.