Tigers win home opener 3-2 against Smith-Cotton
After a tough loss in Frontenac, Kan., Monday night for their second straight loss, the Tigers turned their fortune around Tuesday evening against the Smith Cotton Tigers after winning 5-2.
“It’s really nice to win our first game here at home this year,” stated Head Coach Danny Penn. “Especially after two tough losses the last couple of days to a good Webb City and good Frontenac team. It’s a nice way to start our home schedule this year.”
The Tigers had No. 4 Cade Beshore on the mound starting off. One person that wasn’t a part of the starting 10 was No. 27 Kennedy D’Elia, who was listed as having a pre game injury before Tuesday’s game.
Penn told Nevada Daily Mail, “He injured his non throwing hand in a pregame warmup. He did not feel confident playing defensively. Since it’s early in the season, we decided to give Hunter Seaver (No. 20) an opportunity. To Hunter’s credit, he did a nice job today over third base, and he even had a base hit while batting today.”
But that didn’t mean D’Elia was done for the day though, as he replaced Beshore in the top of the fifth inning on the mound, and finished out the game to keep the Smith Cotton Tigers from scoring. Penn commented, “We went to Kennedy and asked if he thought he could give us some innings on the mound. I'm just so proud of Kennedy and how much he's grown up. He is selfless as a teammate and as a young man. I give credit to him that he was willing to give it a shot, and obviously paid off for us. He helped us get the win tonight.”
The Tiger v. Tiger matchup went scoreless in the first inning and the top in the second, before No. 26 Blake Woods and Seaver scored after Cade Beshore hit a triple into left before being called out. Smith Cotton rebounded with two runs scored in the bottom of the third to tie things up. Nevada would not score again until the bottom of the fifth when No. 7 Riddick Shook and Beshore scored after No. 17 Caiden Clump hit a double into left center. Nevada would win the ball game with a final score of 5-2, and advance to 3-2 on the year.
Coach Penn stated that he had mixed feelings on whether the Tigers did the little things better than Monday’s game against the Raiders. “I thought that we were aggressive on the basis today, which was a good thing. We got thrown out a couple times, and we made the defense make those plays. We did however take third strikes. That’s deflating, because you don't even give yourself an opportunity to put the ball in play and see if something good will happen. So we saw some good things today, but still more things that we need to continue to improve upon to become the baseball team that myself and the other coaches think we can be.”
This upcoming Thursday, the Tigers take on the 1-5 Carthage Tigers at home starting at 4:30 p.m. Coach Penn stated that they can’t just look at their record and write them off for good, saying there are two many factors to be judging this early.
“A lot of teams are playing against bigger schools. I haven't looked at their (Carthage) schedule specifically, but we know they're going to have a bunch of athletes. Things that we did well today, we want to continue to do well on Thursday, but those things that we identified that we can still get better. We want to see those signs of improvement on Thursday.”