CLOVER PARK — A late-game rally fell a run short for Crossroads’ baseball team as the Roadrunners remained winless in league play thanks to a 5-4 loss to Alpha League rival Paraclete on Tuesday.
The Roadrunners actually led 1-0 after one inning, but Paraclete was able to pin three runs on Crossroads starter Max Robinson in the second, building a lead the Spirits wouldn’t relinquish.
The loss sends Crossroads to 4-6 overall and 0-5 in league. Paraclete improved to 15-3 and 4-1.
“I’m glad we put up a good fight,” Crossroads head coach Spencer Kirksey said. “I’m not mad at that effort.”
The rally to comeback came in the sixth inning with Crossroads trailing 5-2. With a man on, senior Holden Miller blasted an inside fastball from Paraclete starting pitcher Cade Brummer over the fence in left field for a two-runner homer that brought the Roadrunners to within one, 5-4. Crossroads was unable to continue the rally going down in order following the Miller homer.
Brummer was able to weather the Roadrunners’ comeback in throwing a complete game.
“He’s an animal,” Paraclete head coach Lance Pierson said of Brummer. “The guy just throws strike after strike.”
Despite giving up the bomb to Miller, Pierson said he was comfortable leaving in his starter, who has proven to be an innings-eater this season.
These teams don’t have long before squaring off again. Crossroads travels to Paraclete on Friday hoping to finally break through and win its first league game of the season.
Miller is expected to start on the mound and said that he took careful notes during Tuesday’s home loss.
“They are good hitters,” Miller said. “I’ll have to keep the ball low and just focus on throwing strikes.”
Miller, who helped lead Crossroads deep into the playoffs last season, has begun the year 2-1 and has been able to work through an up-and-down season. He’s confident heading into Friday’s matchup adding that he’ll have to “get ahead early” as the Roadrunners attempt to avenge Tuesday’s setback.
Kirksey, who is in his first year as Crossroads’ head coach, believes that the key to victory on Friday would have to begin and end at the plate.
“We have to be more aggressive with the bats in our hands,” he said. “I always tell the guys to swing at fastballs, that’s the best pitch to hit in baseball.”