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Rebels done in by Gauls again

Baseball: Errors play big part in Flintridge Prep's 8-1 Prep League loss against unbeaten Webb.

March 13, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — If the Flintridge Prep baseball team plans to contend for a playoff spot, Rebels Coach Buzz Cook said there's one facet that needs to be addressed — shoring up the defense.

In Cook's mind, he's looking for it to happen soon before the Rebels fall out of the playoff picture.

"We have to learn how to make the routine plays, and it's difficult to be in a comfortable position when you can't make them," Cook said after Flintridge Prep began Prep League play Tuesday afternoon with an 8-1 home loss against Webb at the Glendale Sports Complex. "We gave up a lot of unearned runs and it hurt us."

Flintridge Prep (1-4) made four errors that led to seven unearned runs against a Webb squad that beat Flintridge Prep for the second time in a week and improved to 6-0, 1-0 in league.

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Things didn't start off well for the Rebels, who suffered a 9-5 loss to the Gauls on March 6 in the Duarte Tournament. The Flintridge Prep third baseman dropped a pop-up near the base with one out in the top of the first inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Sam Woodward delivered a two-run single off Flintridge Prep starting pitcher Brenden McKiernan (0-1) to make it 2-0.

"You can practice [the pop-up] 100 times and it will be caught," said Cook, whose team advanced to the playoffs last season. "We have to make those plays in a game.

"I'm looking for effort and focus right now. We seem to be lacking in focus."

McKiernan, a right-hander, said he needed to put the miscue behind him.

"Things like that happen sometimes," McKiernan said. "I try not to let it bother me and just work on getting the next hitter out."

The Rebels had a tough time in the batter's box against Webb starting pitcher Nick Gollin (2-0). The right-hander struck out 12 and scattered four hits in going the distance.

Gollin pitched three innings against Flintridge Prep on March 6. He struck out eight and walked five in that appearance.

"He's got a good arm," said Cook, whose team will travel to face Webb at 3:15 p.m. Friday. "He's out there throwing strikes, but not at a velocity we haven't seen before."

Flintridge Prep cut the lead to 2-1 in the third when McKiernan singled to left to score Michael Weinstein, who opened with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Gollin on a pick-off attempt.

The Gauls regained their two-run advantage in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Britton Bentley with two outs.

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