By VAN HOLLAND
The Tarboro Vikings had played good defensive baseball the past two games, but Tuesday night they went back to their old ways against the Beddingfield Bruins in Eastern Plains Conference action. Tarboro committed four errors that came back to haunt them as the Bruins defeated them 3-2.
"Our defense really let us down tonight," Vikings coach Justin Smith said. "We had improved defensively, but I feel like we took a big step backwards. It was a complete letdown."
The Vikings committed two of those errors in the fourth inning, which turned out to be the bad inning that costed them the game. Beddingfield scored all three runs in the inning.
Before the inning began, senior Will Dupree had pitched a gem, but his defense fell apart behind in top of the inning. Dupree threw a complete game giving up only four hits and struck out eight and walked one.
After a lead off base hit to start the fourth, Trey Barnes hit a pop fly behind Vikings second baseman Tristan Bateman. He went back to catch the ball and collided with right fielder Jonathan Castillo, which allowed runners to end up on second and third with no outs. The next Bruin batter flied out to right to score the first run. The Bruins then tried a squeeze bunt and the batter missed the ball. As the Vikings got into a run down, the Bruin runner ran past Dupree who missed the tag and the run scored. After another single, the Bruins tacked on another run to lead 3-1.
"Will threw a very good game, but the errors hurt us as they have all season," Smith said. "We have to quit making the simple mistakes and make the simple plays to win games. We have to play better defensively."
In the bottom of the inning, Dupree reached on an error, Two batters later, Markese Clapp double off of the left field fence and the Vikings had runners at second and third. Jordyn Holland then grounded out to shortstop and Dupree scored to cut the lead to 3-2.
Dupree also knocked in the first run of the game on a single in the first inning.
Tarboro had trouble hitting Bruin's pitcher Casey Flora. He throws a lot of slow, off speed pitches and Tarboro had trouble staying back and waiting for the pitches to reach them. Flora struck out seven Vikings batters and only gave up five hits.
"We worked hard on hitting the slow pitching in practice all day Monday and we came out and didn't get the job done," Smith said. "We had a hard time staying back on the slow pitching. We just didn't execute on the offensive side of the ball."
Tarboro is back in action tonight hen they host Hunt in non-conference action at 6:30 p.m. at Municipal Stadium.