PARSONS – Baseball is just like any other sport. A team can look like it is well on its way to a win before a couple of miscues can sabotage good fortune.
That’s exactly what happened in Chanute Baseball’s first game of the year versus Parsons Tuesday night – two games earlier this summer season were postponed – when Chanute lost to Parsons by a score of 5-4 at Winway Park, dropping the hometown baseball team to 9-8 at the time. An exceeded time limit also contributed to the loss.
Chanute head coach Jeremy Wheeler said it wasn’t clear that the first game had a time limit, though it was agreed to have one for Game 2.
“Basically, there was a time limit set for the first game. We’re not really sure, they never really announced how much time we had left. I would have loved for them to announce exactly how much time we had left, even if we are out there on the field, if it expired, I would have loved for them to tell us that it expired,” Wheeler said. “There was a couple things that we could have done different, but the time limit got us, I guess.”
Before time ran out in Game 1, Chanute mustered up a total of six hits versus Parsons’ 10. Kaiden Barnett had a single and a walk; Rhett Smith had a single, RBI and a walk; Aaron Robertson had two hits and an RBI; and Camden Hugo had two singles and a walk.
Starting pitcher Caden Schwegman struck out three and walked four in five innings.
Offense early on was key. Smith was responsible for Chanute opening up the 4-1 lead in the fifth inning after his single brought in Blake Atwood and Hugo. Parsons then replaced starting pitcher Eli Atkins with Paxton Swanson. Defensively, Schwegman was able to pitch well enough to protect this lead late in the game.
But Parsons stayed close. In the bottom of the fifth, Swanson hit into a fielder’s choice and scored Andon Searles, which made the score 4-2. In the bottom of the sixth, Harrison Hall doubled and scored to nudge Parsons that much closer at 4-3.
At this point, Atwood replaced Schwegman at pitcher, but some of the damage was already done on the base path. Atwood, with the bases loaded, walked Chandler Moore and brought in Hall, tying the score at 4.
The deciding run came in the same inning. With the bases loaded, Atwood attempted to pick off a runner, but the ball ended up in the outfield, allowing Noah Ryan to score and end the game at a 5-4 Chanute loss after time expired.
“It was a super hard-fought game, (I’m) super proud of the guys. There’s not a lot of negative coming from this game, it was all positive,” Wheeler said. “This team that we’re playing is no slouch. They’re a solid team.”
Still, Chanute was able to get a leg up early on in the top of the third. Robertson sliced a ball to left field, and an error in left field led to Schwegman scoring the game’s first run. Lane Roberts then hit to third base, but an error on a throw to first allowed Robertson to score another run in the inning. Chanute was up 2-0.
Parsons cut into the lead in the bottom of the third following a Hall single that scored Swanson to make the score 2-1 Chanute. Two innings later, Chanute opened up the lead before Parsons overtook the game late.
Parsons’ Kooper Peak had a single and a double; Hall registered a double; Ethan Pellock mustered up two doubles and a single; and Eli Atkins and Searles both had singles.
Playing teams in Kansas is somewhat new to Parsons. Chanute is just the second team Parsons had played in Kansas all year. Mostly Parsons has played teams out of Oklahoma and Missouri – a schedule that is significantly more daunting than playing teams from the SEK. But all things considered, Parsons head coach Will Owens said his team battled.
“We’ve been through all of it. We’ve been on the other side of this where you lose those close games; we’ve also been in those games where we aren’t even in them and for them to finally turn a corner and battle the adversity of giving ourselves some opportunities to record outs, so I’m very proud of our effort,” Owens said.
Chanute remembered how they lost Game 1, so a message was sent in Game 2.
Chanute Baseball dominated Parsons 18-0 after three innings. Chanute put up 10 hits versus Parsons’ two. Schwegman posted two hits and two RBIs; Gage Guiot put up a double and an RBI; Robertson put up two hits; Roberts had a single and a double; and Keondre Gregory had a single.
“I just tried to keep it straightforward and don’t go up there for a walk, and just try and put the bat on the ball and kind of hope to go someplace they’re not,” Roberts said.
“On the rubber, Barnett struck out two and gave up just one hit. Reliever Cohwen Wheeler allowed just one hit, too.”
An RBI-single by Schwegman, an RBI-double by Guiot and Guiot scoring off a wild pitch led to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning for Chanute.
But the big inning was the second one. Two errors led to a score of 5-0 Chanute. Robertson’s RBI-single put the score up to 6-0. And then three wild pitches put up three more runs for Chanute.
Roberts’ RBI-double and Gregory’s two-run single equaled a 12-0 lead in the second. It was all over at this point.
Three errors scored three additional runs to make the score 15-0 in the second inning as well.
One defensive highlight was by outfielder Robertson, who nabbed a spectacular catch. Robertson then threw out Kayden Kessler on a rope to second base. Parsons’ only hits were from Kessler and Peak. Swanson on the mound recorded a strikeout, while Pellock walked two.
Chanute (10-8) will play Parsons (4-6) again at Katy Park on Tuesday at 6 and 8 pm.