PARKVILLE, Mo. - Park University had a ninth-inning rally fall short to begin Saturday, dropping a 4-3 opener to Harris-Stowe State University, Saturday, before giving up a big inning in game two, a 9-2 loss for the Pirates at Comfort Field. Park (19-19) is now 10-13 in the American Midwest Conference, while HSSU is 27-13, 13-9 in the AMC.
"This was a critical series and we played very flat all weekend," said Park coach Cary Lundy. "As coaches, we have to find a better way to get the point across in this dugout when a series is this important. I thought we were all on the same page, and we did have some guys do some good things. But our execution and mistakes cost us again today."
Tim Schaareman had a pair of late-game RBIs that had the Pirates in position to force extra innings in the day's short game, as his fifth-inning ground ball scored Luke Rattenne and his seventh-inning triple brought in Weston Jacobs to make it 4-3. Schaareman was stranded at third base on a pair of harmless outs, though, as Harris-Stowe's Tyler Boles picked up his second save of the weekend - his fourth of the year - putting out a fire left by starter Steven Kemp, who gave up Schaareman's triple after going 6.1 innings with a strikeout and four walks.
Justin Eubanks' complete game was wasted as the seventh-inning rally fell short, striking out three and giving up four runs, but just one earned after three errors helped Harris-Stowe win the game. Schaareman was 2-for-3, while six different Hornets had hits and three posted RBIs.
In game two, Lane Noel and Jordan Dreibelbis entertained with a scoreless battle until the fourth, when Noel gave up a six-run inning to Harris-Stowe, a hole the Pirates could never dig out of. Schaareman had another RBI in the next inning for the Pirates, but Harris-Stowe answered with run-scoring hits in the fifth and ninth, erasing an RBI for David White, who singled to bring in Rattenne.
"We had a lot of chances but again, execution was a real problem all weekend," Lundy said. "I thought we had turned a corner after the way we hit the ball on Tuesday (against Ottawa). This is disappointing, but we are definitely not out of it. We need to find a way to grind out some conference wins on the road next week."
Park matched HSSU with 10 hits in the game, but the Pirates left eight, as Whitney was 3-for-4 and White 2-for-4 in the game. Harris-Stowe's first two hitters - Arsalaan Alvi and PJ Roberts - each had two hits, an RBI and two runs each.
The Pirates are back at Comfort Field Tuesday for a single game against the University of Saint Mary at 1 p.m.