LAMPASAS — It was a disappointing performance.
After producing emotional victories against Clyde and Troy to capture its home tournament championship Saturday, Lampasas returned to the same field Tuesday to face Llano.
This time, however, there was no celebration.
The Badgers could not generate any momentum against the Yellowjackets, committing seven errors and producing just four hits en route to suffering a 9-2 loss.
But with only three games remaining until the District 27-4A schedule begins, Lampasas head coach Shane Doege is not concerned with the outcome but rather, the reaction.
“Unfortunately,” Doege said, “games like this happen, but that’s the test of a baseball season. It’s about how we bounce back from it.
“Today, we didn’t step up to the challenge, but part of baseball is learning to bounce back.”
Llano’s first two batters reached base via walks, and moments later, each crossed home plate to give the Yellowjackets an immediate 2-0 advantage.
With Lampasas pitcher Marty Ybarra recording four of his five strikeouts during the first three innings, the score held until Llano benefitted from a pair of Badgers’ errors in the top of the fourth inning, when the Yellowjackets’ cushion inflated to 5-0.
Then, Llano used a four-run outburst in the fourth inning to put its ninth unanswered run on the scoreboard.
“We let our mistakes on the field affect the way we were swinging the bat,” Doege said. “There were a lot of factors, but it just wasn’t our day.”
The Badgers (8-8) finally responded with a two-run seventh inning, but it was not enough to spark a rally.
Doege will find out how his team responds to the recent emotional rollercoaster Friday, when Lampasas hosts Caldwell in an afternoon doubleheader. Then, the Badgers travel to La Grange on Tuesday for their final game before opening district at Taylor on March 22.
With time dwindling until Lampasas’ push toward returning to the playoffs, Doege believes it is imperative his team moves on mentally from the loss to Llano.
Luckily, he feels confident the Badgers will.
“I think they will shake it off,” Doege says. “We returned a lot of guys from last year’s team, and they took some shots and kept persevering forward.
“So, I think they’ll be ready.”