Its winning percentage has dipped to .250. And the loss was its seventh in a row and 11th in 13 outings.
But Mullen’s 15-9 setback to Eaglecrest on Saturday in the Centennial League contained both good and bad, very much reflective of what a younger team experiences.
In falling to 4-12 overall, 0-2 in league, the Mustangs were guilty of four errors, notably dropping two fly balls, one that cleared the bases that were full. Failure to protect an early lead and avoiding the leadoff runner reaching base were other issues.
“A lot of unearned runs,” Mustangs head coach Alan Colglazier said. “The one that cleared the bags was tough. And it’s hard for our pitcher. I’ve been there. When you play a team this strong one through nine (in the order) you can’t gave extra outs.”
True, and the Raptors, semifinalists the past two seasons (they lost in the final four a year ago 20-16), seem intent on getting this year’s championship. Now 14-3, 2-0, Eaglecrest wiped out a 3-0 deficit in the first inning with a four-spot of its own and scored four runs each in three of the next four innings to remain in command. The Raptors had 11 hits, ran the bases well and made only one miscue in the field.
As for the good for Mullen, experience against another strong team was a plus as was its nine runs, the most Eaglecrest has given up in 2018.
“There were some good things,” Colglazier said. “And (the Raptors) are on a mission, a good team. We just need to continue to work and shore up our defense.”
Junior Bella Hawkins was on base four times, had three hits, including a double, and scored three times. Two others drove in three runs apiece.
“It’s difficult,” Hawkins said. “But as a team, we’ve grown a lot closer through it, definitely. We’re battling. It’s a fun season no matter what. We’re battling.”
The Mustangs will be back at it on Monday, home against Cherokee Trail, 4 p.m., in league play.