Unique experience ends in first loss

Published 3:01 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Playing in a professional stadium is not something that many high school players have the opportunity to experience.

The Maplesville Red Devils baseball team did just that during a game against Alabama Christian Academy on March 3 at Riverwalk Stadium, which is also home to Minor League Baseball’s Montgomery Biscuits. The Red Devils lost 16-0 in five innings.

Maplesville made the trip down to Montgomery along with a caravan of support.

Walking around the spacious dugout and warming up on the field prior to the game with the large scoreboard as the backdrop were experiences that were not typical for any of the players.

Unfortunately for the Red Devils, their play on the field did not match up with the pristine setting around them.

Brent Schoener beat out an infield single to lead things off, but that proved to be the lone hit in the game for Maplesville.

Mental lapses were a struggle for the Red Devils throughout the game at the plate and in the field.

“We didn’t have the right mindset,” Maplesville head coach Clay Entrekin said. “I felt like we had a pretty good game plan, but when you don’t throw strikes or you can’t make plays behind them [pitchers], it makes it difficult on pitchers and everybody starts pressing. The scoreboard showed that.”

Schoener also started on the mound and did not have his typical form. He allowed 12 runs on six hits in two and one-third innings.

However, there were moments in the game where the damage could have been lessened in certain innings, but the defense was unable to make a play.

“I’ve never been one to blame anything for the way that we play,” Entrekin said. “We’re young and inexperienced, but the game of baseball never changes.”

After giving up four runs in the bottom of the first inning, Maplesville lost distance with the lead for good with an 11-run third inning by ACA.

“As bad as it was today, we’re still a lot further along than what a lot of people would have thought,” Entrekin said. “We will sit down and try to figure out what we need to do.”

It was only the first loss for the Red Devils a handful of games into the 2018 season.

“We have to be realistic,” Entrekin said. “It doesn’t look pretty, but I think we’re going to take away from this a lot more than we would have if it was a one-run game.”