The Libby Loggers began the American Legion Baseball season with a close loss to the Missoula Pioneers Friday, followed by a no-run, no- hit shutout loss to the Calgary Redbirds on Saturday.
Team Manager Kelly Morford said the Loggers were still dealing with early season nerves in their opening games, leading to some missed plays that were within their abilities to get right.
In their first showing of the season, Libby lost 4-1 in 7 innings against Missoula.
The Loggers did not score a run until the bottom of the sixth. With Garrett Gollahon on third, Trey Thompson singled on a line drive to center field, batting Gollahan in.
“We made some errors defensively that came just kind of being uptight. We made some base running errors that we kind of just outthought ourselves,” Morford said after the loss to the Pioneers. “And that will go away once we get a few more innings in.”
On their second night, Libby faced a rough time at bat against Calgary’s Cory Lawson in their 11-0 loss. The Redbird pitcher pitched eight strikes and walked four, allowing not a single run.
On the Logger side, Morford started Quade Anderson on the mound, putting in Moxley Roesler-Begalke in the top of the fifth as Anderson started to wear down.
But, as Roesler-Begalke struggled to get a final out with Calgary up 10 runs, Morford put in Austin McCully to relieve him. McCully allowed a single run before the half inning was ended by a ground out to second baseman Alex Svendsbye.
Morford said that this early in the season, the team’s pitchers hit a ceiling early around 50 pitches.
“Just early in the season, we just don’t have our arms built up to go a whole lot of pitches,” he said.
But the game wasn’t made on the mound alone, and Kelly said the team has some kinks to work out as they warm up to the season.
Asked about a series of missed plays that allowed a Redbird runner to steal his way from first to home on a single play during the third inning, Morford said his players are able to avoid those kinds of mistakes.
“We’re better than that, we know better, but that’s hopefully something we can eliminate going forward,” he said.
Yet, there’s a positive to facing the kind of team the Loggers found in their game with Calgary so early in season, he acknowledged. It gives the players a chance to recognize the work they need to put in for the rest of the season.
Friday, May 11
Missoula 4, Libby 1
M 111 010 0 - R:4 H:3 E:0
L 000 001 0 - R:1 H:6 E:6
M: Ethan Pyron 4-0, 1R; Stewart Long 2-0, 2R; Ceaton Oliver 4-1; Gage Haran 2-0, 1BB, 1K; Bryce Williams 4-1, 1 R; Cole Franke 3-1, 1BB; Braxen Williams 2-0, 1BB, 1K; Charlie Powers 1-0, 1K; Isaac Warren 3-0, 2K;
L: Tim Carvey 1-0, 2BB; Jeff Offenbecher 4-0, 4K; Quade Anderson 4-0, 1K; Garrett Gollahon 2-1, 1R, 1BB; Moxley Roesler-Begalke 3-2, 1K; Trey Thompson 3-2; Cole Murphy 2-0, 1K; Daymond Baney 1-0, 1K; Alex Svendsbye 2-1, 1K; Ethan Borden 1-0, 1K; Chris Auge 2-0, 1BB
Batting: 2B - Franke, Williams; TB - Franke 2, Oliver, Williams 2, Gollahon, Roesler-Begalke 2, Svendsbye, Thompson 2; ROE - Franke, Long, Pyron, Williams, Williams; RBI - Franke, Oliver 2, Thompson
Pitching: W - Gage Haran 6, 103 P, .650 S%, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 9 K, 4 BB; Ethan Pyron 1, 16 P, .625 S%, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB; L - Tim Carvey 5, 73 P, .671 S%, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB; Jeff Offenbecher 2, 22 P, .591 S%, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 2 BB
Saturday, May 12
Calgary 11, Libby 0
R 202 07 - R:11 H:10 E:1
L 000 00 - R:0 H:0 E:4
C: Dale Bratz 3-1, 3R, 2BB; Nic Taylor 1-1, 1 R, 1BB; Bret Knibbs 4-4, 3R; Matt M. Kelly 4-2, 1R; Brady Wilson 4-1; Jose Rojas 3-0, 1R; Kolbe Blackburn 1-0, 1R, 2BB, 1K; Matt Dunn 2-1, 1R; Hailey Coumont 3-0, 2K; Cory Lawson 1-0
L: Tim Carvey 2-0, 1K; Jeff Offenbecher 2-0, 1K; Quade Anderson 1-0, 1BB; Garrett Gollahon 1-0, 1BB; Moxley Roesler-Begalke 1-0, 1BB; Austin McCully 2-0, 2K; Trey Thompson 2-0, 1K; Daymond Baney 1-0, 1K; Alex Svendsbye 1-0, 1K; Joe Reynolds 1-0, 1K
Batting: 2B - Bratz, Kelly, Knibbs; TB - Bratz 2, Dunn, Kelly 3, Knibbs 5, Taylor, Wilson; ROE - Kelly, Rojas, Anderson; ROE - Kelly, Rojas; RBI - Dunn, Kelly 2, Knibbs 2, Taylor, Wilson
Pitching: W - Lawson 5, 84 P, .607 S%, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 8 K, 4 BB; L - Anderson 4, 63 P, .635 S%, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB; Roesler-Begalke 0.2, 30 P, .433 S%, 4 H, 7 R, 1 ER, 1 K, 3 BB; McCully 0.0, 5 P, .400 S%, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 K, 0 BB