RIVERSIDE — Losing twice to the same team in one’s division isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Tuesday, Highland lost to Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division foe Pekin 4-2 after falling at Pekin 7-6 earlier.
“In some ways, you want to put your best foot forward against them, but you don’t want to show everything,” Highland coach Seth Milledge said. “What we are trying to do is gear up for district play. There is a good chance we will see them in district play. We have 10 games left. We just came out on the short end of a well-played game.”
Pekin managed just five hits, but one was a home run, against three Highland pitchers. Chase Schultz started and fanned six but gave up five hits, three walks and four runs in four innings. Brady Hahn hit two batters and got an out in the fifth inning, then Jacob Leonard finished it with four strikeouts, two walks, but no hits.
“They are a good baseball team so if you come away with a win at Highland you’ve done very well,” Pekin coach Curtis Reighard said. “I think our pitching was the key. We held them to four hits. Both teams pitched well and there were very few errors. (Kennan) Winn threw well, the best he has thrown all year. Caleb Comstock finished well.”
The two combined for 12 strikeouts and three walks.
“It was a good game,” Milledge said. “For the most part, we threw strikes. We put runners on with walks and they took it advantage of that. It was a pitchers’ duel. Our staff did a good job, their staff did a good job. There wasn’t a lot of hits to go around.”
Highland got the early lead in the first inning when Bill Laughlin doubled, then Brody Burton doubled him in. Dan Burton singled in the sixth inning, stole a base and scored on Leonard’s single.
We have to work on constantly getting better.
“There were some positives and there were some things we need to work on to get better,” Milledge said. “Three years ago when we went for the state tournament, we were Jekyll and Hyde early in the season. Then we went on a 15-game run. Games like this can only help us, even though it was a tough loss. We had a good win last night against a tough Mediapolis team.”
Dan Burton threw a complete game with nine strikeouts and no walks, giving up six hits and one earned run in a 4-2 win at Mediapolis. Brody Burton had the only Huskies hit against Mepo, a double.
Pekin is 9-6, 7-2 North.
Highland is 7-6, 5-5 North and plays at Van Buren today.