With the regular season rapidly coming to a close, the Cougars hit a rough patch on the road to the post-season after dropping four straight last week.
The Cougars kicked off a five-game road trip traveling to Cedar Rapids to face Washington for a doubleheader June 18.
With Harris Hoffman on the mound, the Cougars found themselves playing from behind after Washington put one on the board in the bottom of the first.
The Cougars would strike back hard in the third, nailing five to the board, followed by another in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
Hoffman picked up the 8-5 W, pitching six complete with nine hits, no walks, four Ks and three earned runs.
Underclassmen were a driving force for the offense, with sophomore Eli Green and eighth-grader Jack Menster both posting two RBIs. Sophomore Kaleb Topping also threw a 15-pitch inning of relief and coaxed three walks for himself on the offensive end.
In the other game, CR Washington jumped on Green early, scoring one in the first, five in the second and another in the third.
The Cougars made a strong push in the top of the seventh, managing to put four runs on the board, but it wasn’t enough to overcome CR’s early game lead, as they lost by a final of 7-5.
Senior Wil Roling threw two innings of relief for Green, finishing with three Ks, two walks and no earned runs.
On June 20, the boys headed to Wilton, who won via the mercy rule after four-and-two-thirds of an inning.
Wilton had Reid Rausch dialed in early, scoring four in the bottom of the first followed by another four in the third.
Rausch was given the loss, throwing four complete while giving up seven hits, five walks and eight earned runs.
Tom Knepper came in as relief in the fifth, but fared similar to Rausch. Knepper gave up three earned runs on three hits during his 12-pitch appearance.
Offensively, the Cougars struggled to say the least. Aside from the four walks they mustered as a team, the boys were no-hit during the 11-0 loss.
Against Wapsie Valley June 22, the Cougars also found themselves trailing early.
Heading into the bottom of the fifth and behind 3-0, they were able to get a run back. But in the top of the sixth, Wapsie Valley put up five runs that would be the nail in the coffin in the 8-1 loss.
Knepper threw six complete, giving up three earned runs on 10 hits while walking two and striking out one.
Against Don Bosco for their second game of the day June 22, the Cougars jumped early, nabbing two in the top of the first. But in the bottom half of the inning, Don Bosco put four on the board. The Cougars would squeak out another pair of runs in the third and fourth to tie it up, but Don Bosco put up another crooked number in the sixth, scoring three to take the lead back. Both teams put up another in the seventh, but Don Bosco walked away with the W, 8-6.
Compounding some of the team’s woes, the Cougars recently lost senior Logan Otting, who has headed off the Iowa State University for football camp. However, Roling is freshly off the DL and is starting to get some plate appearances. In his first seven at-bats, Roling has two hits, one RBI, four walks and has scored three times.
Otting had a .408 batting average, 15 RBIs and 20 hits in his 49 official plate appearances.
This week, the Cougars will host Regina Catholic and Monticello at home before traveling to Clayton Ridge to finish out the week Friday.