After winning their first two games of the weekend, the American Legion Manhattan Manko senior 17ers looked to be in good position in the Great Plains Shootout.
But the 17ers lost their last three games, including a 5-0 loss to the Midwest BlackSox on Saturday night to finish off the weekend at 2-3.
Manhattan had opened the tournament on Thursday with a 9-4 win over the BlackSox, but finished its pool 2-1, falling into the consolation games on Saturday in Topeka. The 17ers than lost both games on Saturday.
The loss to the BlackSox late Saturday saw Manhattan logging just one hit, while Midwest got off to a quick start with two runs in the first inning.
Manhattan coach Luke Snyder said his team never really got going.
“It was a struggle, our offense was basically non-existent,” he said. “We never really started the game. We just never got started.”
The BlackSox scored their first run on a bunt single, and then added an RBI single on the next at-bat to go ahead 2-0.
Midwest would add three runs in the fourth inning to essentially put the game away. It started with a two-out single to score the first run of the inning, and then runs scored on back-to-back at-bats due to errors from Manhattan fielders. The 17ers had two errors in the contest.
Josh Mullin had the only hit of the game for the 17ers, going 1 for 2. Josh Klug drew a walk, as the 17ers had just two base runners.
Conner Brown pitched a complete game loss for Manhattan, going four innings and allowing five runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Snyder said his team competed more in its losses to the Oklahoma Outlaws on Friday and Wichita Sluggers on Saturday, but Saturday’s finale wasn’t what they were looking for to finish the weekend.
“We didn’t play too bad against the Outlaws, and we got good pitching performances in the first two losses,” he said. “Our defense let us down a couple times against the Outlaws and you have to score runs to win, and we failed to do that against Wichita — and then we just didn’t compete in our final game.”
The 17ers will get back to action this week with a nine-inning game against Rock Creek on Tuesday at Norvell Field. Manhattan will take part in the Kansas State Team Camp Showcase this weekend.
Snyder said his team is capable of turning it around from the three-game skid.
“It just comes down to how bad we want it,” he said. “We’ve shown an ability to be a good baseball team, but we’ve also had our moments where we don’t show up. I know this team is capable of getting out there and getting it done.”