The No. 2 Millard South Patriots have proven this season that they will make you pay for even the smallest misstep on the baseball diamond, and the No. 6 Lincoln Southeast Knights got to experience it first hand Monday night at Den Hartog Field.
The teams were knotted at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning when the Patriots’ Noah Greise led off the inning with a walk. The following bunt attempt ended in a two base error by Southeast, with a run crossing the plate and a runner advancing to third with no outs. It was more than enough of a spark for the Millard South offense.
The Patriots ended up scoring five runs in the inning to take a commanding lead that the Knights could never recover from. Millard South tacked on three more in the top of the sixth and easily cruised to the 9-2 road victory.
“Millard South is one of the top teams in the state and you just can’t make mistakes against them,” Southeast coach Montana Jones said. “A leadoff walk and a couple of errors led to five runs. Sometimes you just have to let them play small ball, take the outs and go from there. We just made too many mistakes tonight.”
Before the Patriots' big inning, the game resembled more of a pitchers duel. Millard South plated a run in the first after a leadoff double off the fence by Garrett Svoboda and an RBI fielder’s choice from Jake Gish.
Southeast responded in the bottom of the second with an RBI single to tie the game. Trevor Workman picked up the Knights’ only other RBI on a bases-loaded walk three innings later.
Svoboda and Nebraska recruit Kyle Perry sparked the Patriots' big innings Monday. They combined for five hits and four runs scored. Seven different Millard South players recorded RBIs.
“We knew it was going to be a tall task today coming out against Southeast’s big lefty,” Millard South coach Greg Geary said. “But we had some great at-bats, got some bunts down and when we got guys in scoring positions, we were aggressive and drove them in.”
The Knights will now look to break out of a two-game skid during the Papillion-La Vista Invite, which begins Thursday.
“We’re facing some good teams and we just have to find a way to grind it out,” Jones added. “We need some consistency and if we do that, we can catch fire and anything can happen.”