Striking out an opponent as many as eight times usually bodes well for a pitching staff.
This was not the case for Horizon Honors when juniors Sean Broderick and Josh Wikoff combined to register eight strikeouts against Maricopa on Wednesday.
The strikeouts just weren’t enough to keep the Rams’ offense at bay.
Playing as the home team at a Tempe Diablo Stadium complex, Horizon Honors (5-8, 5-4 in power rankings) lost to Maricopa 11-5.
“It was a tough game,” Horizon Honors coach Kevin Burdette said. “We’ve been playing really well up to this point and our guys were understanding kind of what it takes to be able to compete at a little bit higher level. I was encouraged today because we kept doing that throughout the entire game.”
Seven of the Eagles’ strikeouts can be attributed to the arm of Broderick, who started the game. He rode hot and cold streaks through five innings of work, allowing eight runs on 14 hits.
After giving up three runs in the first inning on some poor defensive efforts from his infield, Broderick cruised through the next three innings allowing only three hits and one run in that span.
Maricopa sophomore Derik Johnson cashed in on a two-out rally in the fifth inning bringing in two runs on a single. When Broderick gave up two more runs in the inning, his day was done.
“I think we just did well as a team,” Broderick said. “We made a few mistakes, but it’s okay. We’ll just work at it and we’ll be better (in our) next game.”
Burdette was encouraged by his team’s commitment to staying together and keeping a competitive attitude all game.
“Even if we made a couple mistakes, we got down a little bit (and) we had the character and the commitment to be able to come back, put more pressure on them and try to get back into it,” Burdette said.
For the Rams (6-14, 3-10 in Division II), sophomore pitcher Tristan Hartley went six innings, allowing seven hits and five runs. He struck out four and walked three, but the walks never amounted into runs.
Maricopa sophomore Noah Anderson pitched the seventh inning in relief and loaded the bases with two outs. He forced Horizon Honors junior Shane Denney into a ground out to end the game.
“(Our pitchers) did better,” Maricopa coach Daron Connelly said. “We’re still learning how to put people away when we get two quick outs (and) still leaving balls out over the middle of the plate. That’s a function of being young and trying to get better.”
Maricopa’s 11-run offensive output was led by junior Sean Dugan, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, and Hartley, who went 2-for-3 to help himself on the mound.
Due to the fact that it has been a little less than a month since the Eagles last suffered a loss, Burdette is looking forward to his team’s ability to overcome this one.
Senior Galen Geislinger proved he could battle through the adversity of what he believed were some rough umpire calls. A 3-for-4 day at the plate with three RBIs, a run and three stolen bases was evidence enough of that.
“Now this point where they’re playing a little better, I think they understand what it takes to be able to do that,” Burdette said. “That’s a big achievement for a lot of our guys who haven’t had those opportunities in the past to be able to show what they’re able to do.”
Chris Cole is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.