Hits don’t fall for Dayton in loss to Lowry
DAYTON – Through its first eight games the runs came easy for the Dayton baseball team, but on Friday the clutch hits with runners in scoring position never came.
The Dust Devils fell 5-3 to Lowry in their second Northern 3A league game of the year as they scored their fewest runs of the season. The previous low was four runs in a win.
“Defensively, we let that lead runner get on every inning except one,” Dayton coach Jay Merrell said. “So, we would get that lead or tie it up, but we just couldn’t make that stick. We just needed that big hit with runners in scoring position.”
The loss moved Dayton to 1-1 in league and 7-2 overall. Lowry, which had endured two games in which it gave up 20 runs or more already this season, improved to 1-0 league and 4-3 overall.
Dayton pitcher Conner Oliver wasn’t as sharp as he had been in his previous two appearances in which he had a 1.16 earned run average. He failed to face the minimum batters in any of his five innings and walked five batters in the first four innings.
“I didn’t have my best stuff, but everybody has those days,” Oliver said. “I did what I could to give my team a chance.”
Even without his best stuff, Oliver kept the Dust Devils in the game. He brought in the first run of the game when hit a double up the third baseline to score Kyle Farnworth in the first inning.
After Lowry scored two runs in the third, thanks to a leadoff walk and two doubles, Dayton tied it back up at 2-2 with a basesloaded walk by Jake Koch. But it stranded all three runners as Logan Jones popped out to second and Logan Garling struck out to end the inning.
Oliver walked two batters in the fourth and Dusty Kraft drove in one run on a an RBI double.
Dayton tied it up at 3-3 when Oliver knocked in Tim Doyle on a single to left with two outs.
Lowry tacked on one run each in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Dust Devils didn’t stop fighting, though, as they had the winning run at the plate with two runners on and just one out in the seventh. But Garling struck out and pinch hitter Forrest Burrows flied out to deep centerfield to end the game.
“We know we can play with them, always have been,” Oliver said. “Our age group have always battled, so we know we can beat them so we just have to work at it. Come out tomorrow ready to go.”