In the final game of the regular season before district play begins later this week, the Verden High School baseball team lost to Fort Cobb at home.
The Tigers got down early and lost 10-3. Verden finishes the regular season 9-10.
"Our pitchers were pitching behind, and when we finally thought we'd get an out we would make an error," Verden head coach Cody McHugh said. "That extended the innings a little bit. The pitch count gets up, and your mentality gets a little bit weaker as you go."
Ft. Cobb scored two runs right off the bat in the first inning, and after Verden answered with one in the second, the Mustangs pulled away with three more in the third.
"Fort Cobb will put you to the test, and make you make the plays," McHugh said. "And when you don't they're going to score runs. Mentally, we kind of got a little bit shaken."
Verden tried to rally in the fifth inning, and got two runs, but the defense and pitching couldn't hold up, and the Tigers allowed four runs in the final two innings.
The Tigers' batters hit the ball well in some cases, but many hard-hit balls went directly toward Fort Cobb outfielders.
"With the kind of pitching they have, when you hit the ball that solid, you'd like to be rewarded with some hits," McHugh said. "But, that's the way the ball falls sometimes. We have to find ways to still execute and do the other little things to get runs on the board."
McHugh said Monday's performance wasn't characteristic of where the team is going into the district playoffs.
"Today, we didn't come out and play the way we wanted to, and I think their actions show that," McHugh said. "We're playing a very tough schedule, and we're competing, outside of today. I think we're right where we need to be in terms of our attitude and our mentality."
If there was a day to have a bad game, it was better to have it Monday instead of during tournament play, said McHugh.
"I just told them 'at least it wasn't Thursday,'" McHugh said. "That would've been the worst day. We've still got two days of practice. We'll have a positive, upbeat practice tomorrow and get everything turned around."
Verden will play districts at Mill Creek High School, with games at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.