The Longhorns are having problems scoring after putting runners on base, and in a non-region game Friday at Woodstock, the Longhorns had base runners in every inning and left 10 stranded.
And even though Kell did produce runs in the later innings, it couldn’t climb out of the early deficit and settled for a 5-3 loss.
Something will have to be fixed before the Longhorns (9-10) resume Region 5AAAA play Monday at Alexander, which is tied for first in the standings. They have lost nine of their last 11 games after winning their first six.
“We’re old, but we’re young and we keep making mistakes,” Kell coach Donnie English said. “We had chances to score runs and would strike out.”
Bradley Taylor was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Kell, while Brice O’Brien was 2-for-3.
Jamari Moore put the Longhorns on the board in the top of the fifth with a two-run triple to center field. Kell needed more firepower, however, to get out of its early five-run deficit, and its frustration was clear early.
The Longhorns loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning and couldn’t score. They also put runners on to start the third and fourth before getting stymied by a pair of double plays, and they couldn’t take advantage of an O’Brien double with two outs in the fourth.
“We got runners on base, and then it stops,” English said. “Hopefully, we can turn it around.”
Meanwhile, Woodstock didn’t have so much trouble producing runs early.
Leadoff hitter Cole Watson, who was 1-for-3 with two RBIs for Woodstock, got things started on the third pitch of the bottom half of the first inning when he launched a solo home run over the left-field wall.
Tanner Thomson kept it going with a single to left, and, after Jimmy Kelly flew to right for Woodstock’s first out, cleanup hitter Carter Sangrey hit an RBI double to right field to score Thomson.
Woodstock’s third run in the third inning was a result of bad decision by Kell. With runners on the corners, the Longhorns attempted to throw out Sangrey as he stole second, allowing Jimmy Kelly to steal home.
The Wolverines tacked on two more runs in the fourth on a wild pitch and a Durham Hamilton sacrifice fly.
The Longhorns kept Woodstock scoreless the rest of the way to put them in position to mount a comeback.
After getting two runs back on Moore’s triple in the top of the fifth, pinch-hitter Benji Grifenhagen led off the sixth with a single before Taylor brought him home with a two-out single to left.
In the top of the seventh inning, Moore drew a one-out walk, but Woodstock needed just eight pitches to retire the next two batters.
Grant Morgan got the loss for Kell after giving up five runs on five hits. James Flanagan pitched two scoreless innings of relief.