Sometimes, one can be a big number.
It is the number of runs the Collinsville High School baseball team lost by in its first-round Regional game against Belleville East Thursday evening.
It is the number of runs the Kahoks scored in the 11-inning 2-1 loss. It is the number of runs they led by from the first inning until the seventh inning, when the Lancers scored one run to tie the game.
And, up to that point, it looked like it would be the number of pitchers Collinsville needed on the mound.
Senior Tanner Houck was dominating for 6 2-3 innings. When he left the game after allowing the tying run, he had struck out 15 batters, allowed four hits, walked two batters and hit one more.
Collinsville Head Coach Pete Trapp said it was a tough game for the Kahoks.
“They battled for 11 innings. It sucks that the season has to end,” Trapp said. “Unfortunately, it ends like that. It was like a rollercoaster. You have ups and downs and all of a sudden boom: It’s just done.”
Junior Mitch Reising scored the only run for the Kahoks on a groundout from senior Zach Mathes in the bottom of the first inning. Collinsville had three runners thrown out at the plate.
In the following two innings, Collinsville had chances to score more runs. They had runners on second and third base with no outs in the bottom of the second.
The inning came to a quick end, though. Junior Ryan Hoffman was thrown out at home plate on a fielder’s choice, followed by a strikeout and pop fly.
Two more runners were thrown out trying to score in the third inning, and after another pop fly, Collinsville again failed to capitalize.
Trapp said it was the difference in the game.
“We had opportunities and didn’t take care of those opportunities,” Trapp said.
Still, Trapp said he was happy with the way his team fought and made the victory difficult for Belleville East.
“That’s kind of how we’ve been this year. I’m very proud of them for that,” Trapp said. “I’m very proud for how they played today and how they played their season.”
Mathes replaced Houck on the mound in the seventh and pitched the final 4 1/3 innings. He finished with four strikeouts, three walks, three hits and one run allowed.
Trapp said both pitchers did well, as did the defense, but that it did not matter much after scoring just one run.
“You would hope that we only give up two runs in 11 innings, [and] we’ll win the baseball game,” Trapp said. “Unfortunately, when you only score one, it doesn’t do much.”
The Kahoks had six hits. Half of them came from junior Grant Bauer, who had three singles. Reising, Mathes and junior Dylan McEwen had the other three hits, also all singles.
Collinsville ends its season with 19 wins and 16 losses. The Kahoks had previously beaten the Lancers 5-4 April 17, but the Lancers also beat them 4-3 May 19.
Trapp said the loss will not set in for a while.
“We won’t realize it’s done until probably when we get back to school (on the bus, Thursday evening) and the next couple days when we don’t show up for practice. That’s where it gets really tough,” Trapp said. “It just stinks.”