The Pirates took on Weaubleau in the championship game of the Class 1 District 8 Tournament in Wheatland and whether it was passed balls from the pitching staff, overthrows on pickoff attempts or an offense that could not quite capitalize enough, the Tigers took advantage for a 9-2 win and the title.

The miscues made it tough for Macks Creek to gain momentum Wednesday night.

The Pirates took on Weaubleau in the championship game of the Class 1 District 8 Tournament in Wheatland and whether it was passed balls from the pitching staff, overthrows on pickoff attempts or an offense that could not quite capitalize enough, the Tigers took advantage for a 9-2 win and the title.

“The first time we played them it was 1-0 and they scored a run on a ‘Duck Snort’ to into center. The second time we played them it was 1-0 going into the sixth and that turned into a 11-1 blowout,” Macks Creek coach Jason Trusty said, recalling his club’s past encounters with Weaubleau this season. “It is just the little things, the attention to detail we did not execute fully on tonight and that is what did come back and bite us a couple of times where they move runners from first to second or first to third on balls that would get by and get in the muck behind the plate. 

“It is one of those things. We played well, but we kind of came up short and did not play well enough to win.”

Macks Creek had five official errors on the night including a handful of past balls that got by the catcher and allowed Tiger baserunners to move into scoring position. Weaubleau did not hesitate to execute either, bringing those baserunners in with timely hits.

Weaubleau built a 4-0 lead after two innings before Macks Creek found its first hit in the third and answered back with an RBI-double from Trever Smith. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Tigers stayed in rhythm with their bats and added another two runs in the bottom of the third before Macks Creek added its final run of the night on an RBI single from Cole Register. 

Macks Creek had a chance to inflict more damage when the bases were loaded in the third, but a miscue on the base paths allowed Weaubleau to escape the inning on a tag at the plate. Macks Creek collected four hits on the night from the bats of Register, Smith, Colton Walter and Hunter Lane while Weaubleau pitchers combined for nine strikeouts and just three walks.

“We had opportunities tonight and we could not get that hit. There are things you can and cannot control and the strike zone was a little shaky at times, but we have to figure out ways to adjust,” Trusty said of the offensive woes. “With that said, he (Freddie Weider) has a good arm and the guy they brought in behind him (Cameron Ott) has a good arm. That is their ‘One’ and ‘Two’  so they’ve got pieces built. 

“I think we battled until the end, kept it under a 10-run score and forced them to go at least seven (innings) so that is a pretty good accomplishment for us in the books.” 

Lane (3-4) got the start on the hill for Macks Creek and was charged with the loss after 5 1/3 innings where he allowed seven runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out six and walking two. Register finished the night up and gave up two unearned runs on two hits.

It was not the outcome Macks Creek hoped for as the Pirates finished the season 12-7, but the program was playing in its third district championship game in four years and also has a district title in that stretch. Trusty noted that is not a bad legacy to leave behind to the younger ballplayers.

“We lost a ‘Bulldog’ in Gage (Mashburn) last year and had guys step up all throughout the season. Some of the younger guys have stepped in and had good seasons,” the coach pointed out. “You cannot take anything away from what we did and the ending is not how we pictured it, but we played well and still have a lot coming back next year.” 

It is just part of an ongoing journey Trusty began when he took over the program 10 years ago in his pursuit to build a consistent winner on the diamond. 

“When I took over we were kind of one of those programs where everyone looked at us and said, ‘Well, it is Macks Creek so we’ll chalk that up.’ But over the years we have shown we can compete and we can play,” he said.

“Building that consistency is something we tried to do over the last 10 years since I’ve been here and it is nice to see the hard work they put in dictate a run to a district championship appearance.” 

Unfortunately, the end of a season also means saying goodbye to another senior class and Trusty said each senior stepped up and contributed in their own ways as leaders and he wishes them the best. Now, the clock turns towards 2020 and the skipper is encouraged not only by the Pirates returning, but the younger players coming up from the junior high ranks. 

“It is just a matter of figuring out where the pieces fit. I’ve told them, ‘Hey, you have to work in the offseason.’” the coach remarked. “That is the only way we are going to get better and prepare for next year.”