NEVADA, Mo. — The Carthage Tigers fell into a 6-0 hole entering the fourth inning during their game Thursday against host Nevada at historic Lyons Stadium.
Nevada sophomore pitcher Caden Klumpp allowed no hits over the first three innings and juniors Mason Adams and Bradyn Tate reached on consecutive walks in the third for Carthage’s first and second baserunners of the contest.
Nevada scored one in the first on a Kennedy D’Elia RBI single and then five in the third with RBI singles from D’Elia and Hunter Seaver amidst the damage.
Carthage responded with four runs in the fourth and two in the sixth to earn a tie score and sophomore Nolan Brown pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief before Nevada earned a 7-6 walkoff victory.
Junior outfielder Austin Mitchell broke up Klumpp’s no hitter with a bloop single to left, then freshman Cooper Lilienkamp delivered a three-run double and sophomore Taylor Stevens-Diggs a RBI double to start the scoring for Carthage.
“It’s frustrating as a coach because you want to be able to do that from inning one and put some pressure on them,” Carthage coach Luke Bordewick said. “We did a good job seeing pitches and it got his pitch count a little bit. That’s when we started pouncing a little bit. He had a no hitter through three. That’s not good either.
“Cooper, a big-time player. He elevates his game in those moments. He’s had a couple bases-clearing doubles for us so far this year. That was the right guy in the right spot. Baseball gods will find you if you’re there long enough.”
Brown relieved Carthage sophomore Brady Carlton, who allowed six runs over 2 1/3 innings, and retired Cade Beshore and University of Nebraska baseball commit Case Sanderson in the third to limit the damage to 6-0.
Brown retired the side in order in the fourth, pitched through one Nevada runner in the fifth, and turned a nifty 1-4 double play to end the sixth. He snagged a D’Elia line drive and doubled up Ketterman at second.
“He did a great job,” Bordewick said. “We have a shorter week in terms of varsity games this week. He’s usually a starter. Him and Brady both needed to see some innings. Brady started, he did okay, he didn’t have the best command with his stuff, and we put Nolan out there and said, ‘Stop it here.’ He did for the most part before that last inning. He stopped it and threw a lot of strikes for us.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Graham Walker singled and went to second on Seaver’s sacrifice bunt. Barrett Nadurata and Blake Woods recorded back-to-back singles, but Walker was thrown out at home. Next, Carthage was unable to corral Cade Beshore’s grounder, allowing the winning run to score.
Brown took a hard-luck loss, and he allowed one run (unearned) on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk over 4 1/3 innings.
Carlton allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits with one strikeout and three walks over his 2 1/3 innings of work.
Brown and Carlton each finished at 64 pitches.
Nevada hit 13 singles on Thursday with three by Ketterman, two each by D’Elia and Walker, and one each by Sanderson, Klumpp, Seaver, Nadurata, Brice Budd, and seventh inning pinch-hitter Woods.
Carthage finished with five hits against Nevada pitchers Klumpp, Ketterman, and Walker with Lilienkamp and Stevens-Diggs responsible for the game’s lone extra-base hits.
Mitchell, Langston Morgan, and Adams each collected singles for the visiting Tigers.
Tate, Drew Musche, Mitchell, Morgan, Lilienkamp, and Adams each scored one of Carthage’s six runs.
Carthage dropped to 1-7 overall and the Tigers will look to end their losing streak at seven games Tuesday when they host the Seneca Indians at Wendell Redden Stadium within the Joplin Athletic Complex.
“We’re a young and inexperienced group at the varsity level,” Bordewick said. “This is a game where they walked it off, but hopefully we’ll take something from it that will help us not let it happen next time.”