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Baseball: Late rally falls short

Rosemount pitcher Jake Schulze throws a strike during the first inning of Monday's 7-6 nine-inning loss to Eagan. The Irish have lost eight games in a row.

A dramatic comeback gave way to another disappointing finish for the Rosemount baseball team Monday afternoon.

The Irish overcame a 6-0 deficit with six runs in the bottom of the seventh only to have another untimely defensive miscue cost them in a 7-6, nine-inning South Suburban Conference loss to Eagan. Six errors led to four Wildcat runs as the Irish dropped their eighth straight contest.

Six of those eight losses, including the last four, have come by two or fewer runs.

"It's just about consistency for us right now, putting seven innings together and coming up with clutch hits," Rosemount coach Chris Swansson said. "We feel like we're close and the guys believe in what we're trying to do. We just have to put it all together."

The Irish did get one clutch hit. With the score 6-4 and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Chris Leske poked a two-run single to tie the game. Offensively, the Irish produced just two hits before Connor Wolf started the seventh with a single. Nick Seipel and Morris Valenzuela followed with singles to load the bases and walks to Jordan Turner and Andrew Schwartz, and a pair of hit-by-pitches to Danny Farris and Nate Lemoine, made it 6-4.

"I think we were frustrated with some of the fielding errors and mental mistakes we made defensively. As the game went on we ended up being more patient and taking better swings," Swansson said. "I was happy we didn't quit, but at the same time we know we're a better team than this and we should be stringing together more good innings early in the game."

The clutch hitting disappeared again after that as the Irish got to hits in the bottom of the ninth, but stranded runners at second and third.

Jake Schulze started on the mound and allowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks while fanning four over six innings. Farris walked four over the last three innings, but the winning run reached on an error and came home on a sacrifice fly.

The previous week, the Irish left six runners in scoring position in a 5-3 loss to Lakeville South and had two runners thrown out at the plate in a 4-2 setback against Burnsville.

The Irish (2-10) took on Prior Lake Wednesday and are back on the road this afternoon when they travel to Apple Valley to take on Eastview.