Thomas suffered its fifth shut out loss of the season in Game 1 of Tuesday’s non-conference doubleheader at home against Spring Hill, but bounced back to win Game 2, 5-4, on a wild pitch in the final inning.
The Night Hawks relinquished an early, 4-1 lead in Game 2, and allowed the Badgers to tie the game in the seventh inning on a one-out, RBI single to centerfield by Roy Moulder. Spring Hill left runners on first and second base, and was only able to churn in the one run.
Thomas looked to be on IR when its leadoff batter in the seventh, Jose Olivero, struck out looking and his follow-up, Jake Desuyo flied out to right. Then Andrew Crane reached on a walk and was subbed – customary for catchers – for Austin Palmer.
Palmer stole second, then snagged the final two, including the score, on the wild pitch.
“We got fortunate,” TU coach Mike Lee said. “We knew [Palmer] could steal second and planned for that, but then the catcher somehow or another couldn’t find [the ball] and we decided to gamble. Luckily it paid off.”
John Gainey, who was called on to close but gave up the tying run, earned the win from the mound with just one inning pitched. Kristofer Lee (four innings, four hits allowed, three earned runs) and Nick Riley (two innings, one hit allowed, no earned runs) also saw action in Game 2.
Lee made a drastic lineup change between games – one that featured six new starters. He said though he planned to make minor adjustments with it being a mid-week tilt, he primarily based his decision on the Game 1 performance.
“It was awful,” Lee said. “Very simply, we did not show up to play. We went through the motions and didn’t make adjustments. ... If guys are not going to play hard for seven innings, then they’re not going to play at all. If I had the depth to put nine other guys in, I would’ve used them all.
“Very simply, we’re not good enough to not play well and win.”
Lee said he hopes the team heeded the call and responds with a productive week in practice. He added that he will more than likely restore the lineup to its customary fashion for this weekend’s conference series against NAIA No. 24 Southeastern.