Generals’ struggles continue in loss to Cougars

NEW MARKET — Stonewall Jackson has struggled in its last few games and things didn’t get better on Tuesday night at Rebel Park.

The Generals committed eight errors in a 12-3 loss to Stuarts Draft in Shenandoah District baseball action.

“We just didn’t play well tonight,” Stonewall Jackson coach Mike Lenox said. “The past three games we haven’t been playing very well. Just in a little bit of a funk right now. I’ve seen them play very well. We just didn’t execute any facet of the game tonight. It’s tough when you put yourself in a hole like that. We just didn’t play well all around.”

Stuarts Draft scored five runs in the top of the first with only three hits and aided by two walks, a hit batter and two errors.

Stuarts Draft’s Dalton McGann singled off Stonewall Jackson starting pitcher Wyatt Estep. Bryce Carter drew a walk, but was later forced out at second on a grounder by Tyler Robinson.

Austin Gutt was hit by a pitch to load the bases. An infield hit by Garrett Campbell scored a run, and Evan Burgener reached on an error to score another run. C.J. Dameron hit into a fielders’ choice, scoring a run, and another run scored on a throwing error on the play for a 4-0 lead.

Walker Aldhizer followed with an RBI double for a 5-0 lead.

“We feel like we have some speed, so we put it in play and let’s see if we can make things happen,” Stuarts Draft coach Josh Podgorski said. “That’s the way we feel about it. We drove the ball well tonight. We had solid defense and had good pitching.”

The Generals (4-4, 0-2 Shenandoah) did score a run in the bottom of the first. Stonewall Jackson’s Cole Holsinger led off with a single against Stuarts Draft starting pitcher Bryce Carter. Holsinger stole second and third and eventually scored on an RBI single by Brett Jones.

The Cougars scored two more runs in the second and one in the third to stretch the lead to 8-1. Stuarts Draft scored all three runs without a hit. The Generals had a combined three errors in the two innings.

“I just think they don’t want to make mistakes,” Lenox said of the errors. “They care about this. They care about their teammates. They don’t want to make a mistake, and that’s usually when you make a mistake — when you think about that. I told them just to play loose and enjoy the game.”

Stuarts Draft stretched the lead to 10-1 with two more in the top of the fourth, on a two-run single by Evan Burgener off Stonewall Jackson reliever Jones.

The Generals cut the lead to 10-2 on a groundout RBI by pinch hitter Jamie Stunkle in the bottom of the fourth.

Stuarts Draft scored two more in the top of the fifth, and were on the verge of ending the game due to the 10-run mercy rule with a 12-2 lead. Stonewall Jackson battled back to cut the lead to single-digits in the bottom of the fifth.

Holsinger reached second on a single and an error, and eventually scored on another Stuarts Draft error.

“They competed in the box pretty well,” Lenox said of his team’s hitting. “I think we had some good at-bats. I think hitting is probably the best thing we did today.”

The Cougars were able to use all 15 players, and all but three of them reached base safely at least once. The Cougars also had six stolen bases in the victory.

Robinson led the Cougars with two singles and an RBI.

“We competed the entire game,” Podgorski said. “…They’ve got a good team. They’ve won some big games already this year. So we’re thrilled to get out of here with a win tonight.”

Holsinger led the Generals with two singles and two runs scored.

Lenox said that the players just need to keep working hard and they can turn things around and get out of their funk.

“We got to keep our routine, keep on working hard and keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Lenox said. “We’ve seen success at it. It’s just been a tough couple games, but you’ll have that in a season — everybody has that. … We have the talent. We just have to keep working, just improve and learn from our mistakes.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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