It was tough enough for the William Chrisman baseball team to try to stop a stretch of games in which it had lost eight of the last nine games.
The Bears were also missing three of their starters – Sam Wimberley, Trey Stout and Parker LaRoche – who were all in California for a national DECA event.
That forced some of the reserves to take on starting roles and although the Bears still tallied seven hits, they were shut out 5-0 by Raytown South Wednesday at home.
Chrisman (5-11) had the bases loaded and one out after singles from Josh Jarvis, Cameron Watters and Jessie Coleman. Levi Wells, the No. 9 hitter, tapped one back to Cardinals pitcher Anthony Chisum and he started an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play.
The Bears also had another golden opportunity to score in the sixth with runners at the corners and one out. Jarvis hit a towering fly ball to center field, but it wasn’t deep enough to score the runner from third. Watters grounded out to end the threat. For the game, Chrisman was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners.
“We couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it,” Chrisman coach Tom Campa said. “We did get couple of base hits, but they were shallow hits that couldn’t score a runner at home. We are hitting the baseball, we just have to hit at the right time with runners in scoring position. They didn’t really do anything to fool us.”
Chisum ended up scattering seven hits in a complete game effort and struck out four to pick up the win for Raytown South (4-8-1).
Although the Bears didn’t have three of their starters, Campa wasn’t about to use that as an excuse.
“They are a valuable part of our line,” Campa said of LaRoche, Wimberley and Stout. “But this gave other guys opportunities to showcase what we got. Right now, things are now going in our favor.”
Added Chrisman pitcher Will Fisher: “It affected us a little bit in the outfield, but we still played really good baseball. We could have made some adjustments, but it’s a win-lose situation with losing people.”
Fisher took the loss for the Bears as he surrendered four runs, five hits and three walks and struck out six in five innings. Seth Gossett, gave up one run on two hits and struck out two in two innings of relief for the Bears.
Raytown South scored three in the sixth on a Amari Kemp’s RBI single and a two-run double down the left-field line by Javon Ray. Brad Prewitt took advantage of some miscommunication in the Chrisman outfield and drove in a run on a pop-fly double to make it 4-0 in the fifth before Andrew Hoglan capped the scoring with an RBI double in the sixth.
“We just have to make the routine plays.” Campa said. “We have to throw 75 percent strikes on the first pitch and keep under two errors or less. Will did a good job, we just have to make plays behind him. He pitches well when the team is ahead, and when he’s down by five runs, it’s hard to throw strikes.”
So what is it going to take to turn Chrisman’s fortunes around?
“We just need to practice more,” Fisher said. “With all of the rain delays, we had to move games around and we haven’t had a chance to practice on anything. Once we get more practice, we will improve.”