Aiden Harris just stood there. The Benton second baseman loitered at the plate, bat still in hand as he watched the Williamsburg pitcher get mobbed by his teammates on the way back to the dugout.
It looked as if the Bobcats' baseball team was in great shape moments before. Down by a run in the sixth inning, designated hitter Ian Rupp reached base on a two-out error. First baseman Cade Timmerman followed it up with a single to left field on a hit-and-run to set up men on the corners.
Raiders coaches and infielders gathered at the mound for a quick chat before Harris stepped into the batter’s box. Harris blasted a line drive back toward the pitcher on the very next offering, but Williamsburg’s Garrett Jensen stuck his glove out near his belt and corralled the ball.
It was the last real scoring chance of the day for Benton as it dropped the second game of its Monday doubleheader 2-1. The afternoon’s first game saw the Bobcats fall 16-2.
“Game one, we got behind the eight ball,” Benton head coach Derek Anderson said. “You can’t win games like that.”
Bobcats pitcher Turner Schroeder made his third start of the season during the nightcap with a marked improvement over the first game’s pitching performance. He finished the evening with seven strikeouts and no walks. Schroeder gave up just five hits and didn’t allow multiple hits in any one inning of work.
“He’s locating his fastball and getting that breaking ball over,” Anderson said. “He went out there and competed.
“When he goes out there and competes like that, he’s gonna give us a chance to win against anyone in the state.”
The Raiders (5-9) pushed their two runs across the plate in the fifth and sixth innings. A one-out single in the fifth from sophomore Jalen Schropp led to a passed ball and a stolen base that moved him to third. Fellow sophomore Lucas Spratt grounded out to third on the next at-bat, but Schropp ran on contact and scored the game’s first run.
The Bobcats (4-10) responded in the bottom half of the fifth. Harris led off with a single and, after a high throw to check the runner, he wound up on second. A follow-up single from junior Justise McFarland moved Harris to third, and sophomore Landen Schmuecker got him home with a grounder to third.
Williamsburg didn’t dwell on the tie game for long. The Raiders snuck a man on base after a botched grounder to shortstop Brady Sadler. Following a strikeout and a stolen base, Williamsburg sophomore Brody Wardenburg lined a double to left-center field to chase home the winning run.
The Bobcats have today and Wednesday off before they return to their home field to take on Marion (8-3) in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. Thursday.